Preparing for Mountain Cedar Season
With the change in weather also comes a change in the allergens that fill our air. Mountain cedar season is right around the corner, with pollen appearing as early as November. Mountain cedar grows naturally in this region and is considered to be the most allergenic tree in Central Texas. The male mountain cedar tree releases ‘puffs’ containing millions of pollen grains that then get carried by the wind. People allergic to this pollen typically find December, January, and February the most challenging months.
Common symptoms of “Cedar Fever” include sneezing, nasal blockage, runny nose, and itchy and watery eyes. Other symptoms can include fatigue, mild headache, sore throat, partial loss of smell, and the sensation of ear plugging.
According to Dr. Karkhanis, one of the board-certified physicians at AllergySA, the best way to beat cedar fever is to prepare in advance by following these steps:
- GET TESTED BY A BOARD-CERTIFIED ALLERGIST: Visiting one of our board-certified providers for an allergy skin test is the best way to get a definitive answer as to what is causing your symptoms. An accurate diagnosis leads to a treatment plan designed to treat your specific allergens and bring you relief. So don’t guess, test!
- START YOUR MEDICATIONS EARLY: After your skin test, your allergist will discuss a treatment plan that may include over-the-counter and/or prescription medications. It is recommended that you begin your medications several weeks prior to the start of the season. This will reduce your likelihood of experiencing those irritating cedar fever symptoms instead of trying to treat the symptoms after they have started. For some, allergy immunotherapy drops, or shots may be the best course of treatment for their specific allergic profile. This therapy works by giving gradually increasing doses of the allergen to which you are allergic. Over time, your immune system becomes less sensitive to the substance, thereby reducing, or even eliminating, your symptoms.
Once the mountain cedar season begins, it is also important to reduce your pollen exposure by taking the following actions:
- Reduce pollen from entering your home by changing air filters regularly, keeping windows and doors closed, bathing pets often, and showering and changing clothes after being outdoors.
- Reduce pollen exposure when outdoors by keeping car windows closed and decreasing your time spent outside on days when the pollen count is high.
If you believe you suffer from allergies caused by mountain cedar pollen, call Allergy SA at 210-616-0882 to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified allergists. Same-day appointments are available.