HOUSTON — If your allergies bother you this time of year, ragweed is likely to blame. Mold may also be high because of rain.

A local ear, nose and throat doctor says a beard could help!

“The beard can actually serve as a barrier,” Dr. Michael Moore, with Texas ENT, said. “It can filter out allergic triggers such as the ragweed, mold, dust, animal dander and much more in the Houston air and that barrier can prevent those allergens from entering the body.”

The larger the beard, he said, the better it acts as a filter and can help to build a tolerance to your allergies.

“It keeps those allergens in close proximity to the nose and mouth and so those allergens can get slowly released over time and you can get exposed to an incremental amount of that in the body and can actually build up immunity from that slow-release. That can help, if you're exposed to larger amounts, from having an allergic reaction,” Moore said.

The key to getting the health benefits is keeping the beard clean and well-groomed.

“To take advantage of any health benefit from that, it has to be kept clean. If the beard is not kept clean, if it's not washed regularly, it can actually trap too many allergens and that can have the opposite effect,” Moore said.

Other treatments Moore recommends include over-the-counter medicines: Zyrtec, Allegra, Claritin. A nasal rinse also works wonders too to flush your sinuses of allergens. If none of that works, he recommends visiting a doctor about allergy shots or drops.