Relief From Cedar Fever and Runny-Nose Season
January 08, 2016
In most areas of the country, winter is typically a pollen-free season. However, here in Central Texas, mountain cedar (Juniperus ashei) trees pollinate from December to March with peak pollen counts in the month of January. Mountain Cedar trees produce such significant amounts of pollen that it actually looks like “smoke” coming from the trees. This means many cases of “cedar fever” for you, family, and friends.
What’s Cedar Fever? Allergic Rhinitis
“Cedar fever” is a term used to describe the allergic response caused by cedar pollen. This occurs when your immune system identifies an allergen, like mountain cedar pollen, and reacts by producing IgE antibodies that cause the release of histamine and other inflammatory chemicals. The resulting symptoms are sneezing, itchy nose and eyes, nasal drainage, congestion, sore throat, sinus pain, headaches and more.
Relief From Allergies: Avoidance and Taking Medicine Early
“During times of high pollen counts, like cedar season, keep windows and doors closed, shower and change clothes if you have been outside for a prolonged period of time, and change your air conditioning filters to clean the air you breathe inside.” says Dr. Colleen Adkins, ARC Allergy and Asthma physician.
For next season, Dr. Adkins also advises, “Begin taking your allergy medications a few weeks before the pollen season starts. This will help prevent or reduce symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis.”
For cedar fever, this means beginning allergy medicine around Thanksgiving each year to prepare your body for the pending cedar season.
Building Your Tolerance with Immunotherapy
Another treatment option for allergic rhinitis is immunotherapy or allergy shots. This treatment option can offer long-term relief of allergy symptoms even after treatment stops. It works like a vaccine and involves injections of gradually increasing doses of the allergen(s). Over time, allergy shots teach your immune system to become tolerant of the allergen(s), which means improvement and often resolution of symptoms.
If you suffer from cedar fever and would like to learn more about allergic rhinitis and allergy shots and/or other treatments, make an appointment request to talk to an ARC Allergy and Asthma physician today.