AUSTIN (KXAN) — Ah-choo!
During this first month of the autumn season, the pollens that have created sniffles and sneezes have been fall elm, grass, mold and ragweed.
Fall elm has pretty much run its course for 2022, and ragweed has been pollinating since mid to late August. We usually see it end in mid to late November.
Don’t look now, but once the ragweed season ends, our attention is directed to the one pollen just about everyone dreads, be they allergy sufferers or not — Juniperus ashei. No one likes it. No one.
Juniperus ashei — what’s that? It’s an ash juniper plant that we know as mountain cedar and the source of cedar fever.
It’s the one pollen that seems to debilitate so many from December, sometimes before Christmas, into as late as early spring. Cedar fever gives its victims just about everything from itchy watery eyes to sinus pressure, from sneezing to a sore throat and fatigue. Though it won’t give sufferers a fever, it’s the inflammation from the allergy that may raise the body’s temperature a little.
Windy days are the worst. They seem to be the days when we see some higher counts. When disturbed, the pollen displaced from the trees can travel for several miles.
Some people who have lived here for any amount of time have avoided the malady. That doesn’t mean you won’t ever get it.
If you suffer from cedar pollen, you pretty much know the drill if you follow your doctor’s advice. That advice might include using nasal sprays starting a few weeks before the pollen season. Another recommendation is that you wash your “cedar-infected” clothes as soon as you can.
Dr. Sheila Amar is a board-certified allergist specializing in adult and pediatric allergies and asthma. Her advice approaching the season includes “seeing a board-certified allergist to maximize an individual’s medical regimen before cedar season,” because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
So, it’s coming. It can’t and won’t be stopped. Plan ahead.