Cedar Fever Is Here!

December 17, 2021

2021 Cedar Season has Officially Begun: Start Allergy Prevention, Remedies Now

It only takes one winter in Texas to know that cedar season—and the allergic symptoms that come with it—is as reliable as the holidays. Cedar season peaks at the end of December through the beginning of January, with cedar levels surging after the first freeze of the season when strong north winds push the pollen south.

But this year, weather experts noticed the early arrival of cedar allergens to the region, with traces appearing on daily allergen counts in late November.

Given cedar season’s early arrival, it is critical to know what cedar symptoms look like and to act now to minimize symptoms so that you and your family stay well.

Typical Symptoms of Cedar Fever

Contrary to its name, cedar fever does NOT induce a fever, but it can leave you feeling miserable. Click here to read our full blog on cedar fever symptoms and remedies.

Cedar fever is a seasonal illness that affects people who are sensitive to the pollen released from ash juniper, also called mountain cedar, trees. Considering there are over 13 million cedar trees in the Austin area alone, each of which produces 500 billion pollen grains capable of traveling up to 300 miles, it’s easy to understand just how invasive cedar spores can be during pollination season.

Typical symptoms of cedar fever include:

  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing

Some sufferers also experience fatigue, headaches, a sore throat, partial loss of smell, and plugged ears.

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Take Preventative Action Against Cedar Fever Symptoms

One of the most effective over-the-counter treatments for cedar fever symptoms are nasal steroids like Flonase, Nasacort Allergy 24HR, or Rhinocort. But when should you start taking them? According to Texas MedClinic’s Chief Operations Officer, Dr. David Gude, the sooner the better.

“The best time to begin using nasal steroids is before the allergy symptoms start,” says Dr. Gude. “If you know your allergy history and you tend to have problems with mountain cedar symptoms, plan to start using your nasal steroid around Thanksgiving.”

While decongestants and antihistamines may also be used to relieve symptoms, Dr. Gude cautions that the relief they provide is short lived.

Irrigating the nasal passages when symptoms strike can also provide relief. You can prepare a saline rinse at home by mixing ¼ teaspoon of salt into 2 cups of sterilized warm water. Use a squeeze bottle, bulb syringe or neti pot to flush out allergens and mucus from the nasal passages.

As unpleasant as cedar allergies can be, there is good news—cedar season does not last forever. By starting your nasal steroid now, you increase the odds that you’ll make it through cedar season with minimal symptoms.

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