AUSTIN (KXAN) — Suffer from cedar allergies in the winter? You may want to stock up on tissues and antihistamines because an especially terrible cedar fever season appears likely.
While no cedar has been identified in Austin by Allergy and Asthma Associates yet, the clinic’s research department is expecting to see the pollen grains under the microscope any day now. Cedar pollen counts typically peak in January, but the season extends from December into February.
Cedar levels are already reaching high counts in San Antonio, where the pollen started showing up earlier than any time in at least 20 years, according to KENS-TV.
Some mountain cedar trees already appear to be releasing their pollen in parts of the Hill Country, including Lampasas County. North and northwest winds behind frequent winter cold fronts carry that pollen into Austin and south-central Texas.
Cedar allergies cause symptoms that people refer to as cedar fever
Cedar fever is a popular way of describing the symptoms that people experience due to cedar allergies. Cedar allergies don’t cause a rise in temperature of more than one degree, but can cause discomfort in addition to the typical rhinitis symptoms. Some people may also experience headaches, plugged ears, fatigue and sore throats in addition to other symptoms.
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy eyes, nose and sometimes ears and mouth
- Watery, red eyes
- Swelling over and above the eyes
Austin allergists recommend that you see a board-certified specialist when you feel like allergies affect your quality of life. Medication can help, including allergy drops or shots. You should schedule an appointment if:
- Allergies are causing other symptoms, such as repeated sinus infections, stuffy nose or difficulty breathing.
- If nasal congestion, cough or asthma-like symptoms interfere with your sleep, work or studies.
- Hay fever or other allergy symptoms last for several months of the year.
- Antihistamines and other over-the-counter medications do not control your allergy symptoms or cause side effects, such as drowsiness.
- Asthma or allergies interfere with your day-to-day activities or quality of life.
- You have the warning signs of asthma. These may include a wheeze or cough, especially at night or during exercise, shortness of breath or a tight feeling in the chest.
- You need to confirm or diagnose a food allergy.
- You have had a severe reaction to an ant bite or flying insect sting.
- You have had an anaphylactic reaction to anything that is not diagnosed