If you live anywhere in central Texas there’s a solid chance you know a thing or two about cedar fever. Every year come winter the symptoms start up—itchy eyes, itchy ears, sneezing—but cedar fever isn’t a fever, like its name suggests. It’s an allergy. Here’s everything you need to know about cedar fever, and a few tips on how to ease the symptoms this winter.
What Is Cedar Fever?
Cedar fever is an allergic reaction to inhaling the pollen of the local Mountain Cedar tree, which is itself another misnomer; the Mountain Cedar is actually a juniper tree, also known as the Ashe Juniper. These drought-tolerant evergreen trees are scattered throughout central Texas. Despite their beauty and their essential function in the local ecosystem, the Mountain Cedar is a bit of a nuisance to Texans for the mild to severe allergies they cause.
Symptoms of cedar fever usually last from about November through February, during the Mountain Cedar’s highest levels of pollination. Although many believe our body’s display of allergies is a sign of a weak immune system, it’s actually quite the opposite; allergies are your body’s natural response to an invader, like pollen, in your system. Your body tries to rid itself of the invader, hence the runny nose and watery eyes.
It so happens that Mountain Cedar pollen is considered the most allergenic pollen in the US. During peak season, one can witness the density of the pollen in the air first hand as it creates a haze so thick it looks like smog rising from the trees. In addition to itchy eyes and a runny nose, cedar fever can worsen asthma and eczema and cause nasal blockage, headaches, fatigue, facial discomfort, and sore throat.
If you’re a central Texan, it’s not likely that you’re going to be able to avoid coming into contact with this highly allergenic pollen. But thankfully, there are ways to cope if you do experience an allergic reaction.
If you suffer from the symptoms of cedar fever, you can start out by trying some over-the-counter antihistamines, eye drops, nasal spray, or a nasal irrigator. If your symptoms persist or worsen, see your doctor. He or she can prescribe stronger antihistamines, corticosteroids, and anti-inflammatory drugs. The long term solution? Consult your doctor about allergy shots. They’ll slowly build up your immunity to the allergen so your body doesn’t react as strongly next season. This method is highly effective.
In addition to those remedies, you should also keep your windows closed, wash your hands, minimize exposure by staying indoors, and wear a dust mask when doing yard work. There are also other less traditional remedies you can try, like acupuncture and lymphatic massage that are well worth looking into if you’re looking for relief.
Now that you know a little bit more about cedar fever, you have some time to prepare. Stock up on TexaClear’s® Allergy Relief medicine, available in tablets, liquid, or their One Shot liquid formula for fast, long-lasting relief.