Juniper trees produce some of the most allergenic pollen in the country. There are about 70 species of evergreens and shrubs in the juniper family, and they can sometimes be referred to as mountain cedars, juniper redberry, and cedar juniper trees. In the United States, the most allergenic junipers are primarily found in the Southwest, although different species of the tree can be found throughout the country.
Juniper tree pollen can be difficult to avoid, as it floats easily and travels well through the air. Even if there aren’t junipers in your immediate area, the pollen can travel well over 100 miles. The high allergenic nature of junipers can even bring on an intense allergic reaction known as cedar fever.
If you have juniper allergies, set up a consultation to get a personalized allergy plan with Wyndly, or continue reading to learn more about juniper allergies.
What Is a Juniper Tree Allergy?
A juniper tree allergy is brought on by your immune system overreacting to juniper tree pollen and perceiving it as a threat. The antibodies your body releases will present themselves externally as allergy symptoms. Juniper tree pollen is especially allergenic and is known to cause reactions in individuals who don’t normally experience seasonal allergies.
There are several common symptoms you may expect to experience during juniper allergy season, such as:
- Runny nose
- Scratchy throat
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
- Aggravated symptoms for those with asthma
Juniper tree pollen is especially allergenic and can sometimes cause cedar fever, which is a more intense reaction that mimics the flu or a cold, with symptoms such as:
- Mild fever
- Sore throat
- Feeling tired
- Reduced sense of smell
Generally, your symptoms will be more intense during the peak allergy months, when the pollen concentration is at its highest.
Where Is Juniper Found?
Different species of juniper can be found throughout the United States, although they’re most common in the Southwest. Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona especially have problems with juniper allergies.
When Is Juniper Pollen Allergy Season?
Depending on what part of the country you’re in, juniper pollen allergy season can start very early. The hardy tree has no problem with the colder months and can start producing pollen as early as December if conditions are right. Typically the juniper pollen season will then last until around April or May before tapering off.
Foods to Avoid
Certain foods contain proteins that are very similar to the ones found in juniper pollen. This can cause an allergic reaction known as OAS or oral allergy syndrome.
When you have OAS, you may notice a scratchy or tingly feeling in your mouth and throat after consuming the following foods:
- Bell peppers
Though the list of juniper-related foods isn’t extensive, it’s still a good idea to avoid these foods if you have juniper allergies. If you have a severe reaction, it’s important to seek emergency medical attention immediately.
Testing and Diagnosis
During allergy season, there are a variety of different types of pollen in the air. This diverse array of pollen production can make it difficult to identify juniper pollen as the specific cause of your allergies. Fortunately, you can clear up any doubt by getting an allergy test. An allergy test will reveal which allergens cause you the most issues. Wyndly makes allergy testing incredibly convenient with our at-home tests. Just order your test, do the simple finger prick, and send the test back for your results. Buy your Wyndly at-home test today!
Let’s examine how different allergy testing options work.
Old-Fashioned Method: Skin Prick Test at Your Doctor’s Office
Skin prick testing requires you to go to the doctor to determine your allergen triggers. It’s often uncomfortable, and it takes time out of your day. You’ll go to the doctor’s office, they’ll administer a test where they prick or scrape your skin with a needle tipped with different allergens, and then they’ll observe the areas they pricked for itchiness, redness, or swelling. All in all, it’s not a pleasant experience. Instead, you can save yourself time and pain by getting an at-home test.
Modern and Efficient At-Home Method
- Order Wyndly’s at-home allergy test. We ship our CLIA-certified test straight to your door.
- Take the allergy test and send it back to us. Just do a quick finger prick test to provide us with a blood sample and mail it back when you’re done.
- Receive your personalized treatment plan. Our doctor will interpret your results, create an allergy profile, and walk you through your treatment plan.
Unlike self-diagnosis, an allergy test can reveal the full breadth of your allergies. This way you know exactly what you’re allergic to and how you can treat your symptoms.
Treatment and Remedies
If you’re suffering from juniper allergies, there are plenty of options to manage and even treat your symptoms. Here are some treatments and remedies you may want to try to relieve your allergies.
Limiting your exposure to juniper pollen is a good first step toward managing your juniper allergy symptoms. Airborne pollen isn’t easy to avoid, but taking some of these steps can keep your exposure to a minimum.
- Watch the pollen count: During allergy season, some days will have a higher concentration of pollen than others. Checking the pollen count is a good way to know how much you might be exposed to on any given day. If the pollen count is high, try to stay indoors as much as possible.
- Wear a mask: If you need to go outside on high pollen days, it’s a good idea to wear an N95 mask to protect your nose and mouth from pollen. Wearing sunglasses can also help to keep it out of your eyes.
- Trim juniper trees: If you have juniper trees in your yard, trimming their branches can reduce the amount of pollen they produce. Of course, trees outside of your yard can still send pollen your way, but you can at least reduce the pollen concentration in your immediate area.
- Clean your home often: During peak allergy season, it’s a good idea to be more diligent about keeping your home clean. Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter and dusting with a wet rag can help you get rid of pollen on floors and hard surfaces. Take extra time on carpets and rugs, where pollen can accumulate easily.
- Wash off frequently: If you’ve been outside, pollen will likely stick to your skin and hair. Rinsing off in the shower is a good idea, but if you’re pressed for time, washing your hands and face can make a difference too.
- Keep windows closed: Keep windows closed during allergy season to prevent pollen from getting it. Using your A/C system and installing a HEPA filter can also reduce pollen in your house.
- Avoid the aforementioned foods: Don’t forget to avoid the foods that are related to juniper allergies.
Limiting your exposure may not be enough to provide relief from your symptoms. Allergy medications can help you manage your symptoms as well. Here are some allergy meds you may want to try.
Over-the-counter medications: Over-the-counter allergy medications are the most common option. They’re easy to find and effective at temporarily managing most symptoms.
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines inhibit histamine response, reducing a variety of common allergy symptoms.
- Nasal sprays: Nasal sprays are helpful for runny or stuffy noses. They reduce inflammation and swelling to provide relief from these symptoms.
- Eye drops: Eye drops are helpful for getting pollen out of your eyes and reducing itchy, red, and watery eye symptoms.
- Prescription: As a last resort, you may want to speak with your doctor about prescription options.
When you’re wanting to treat your juniper allergy symptoms instead of just managing them, you may want to consider sublingual immunotherapy. This treatment method introduces small amounts of your allergen substance to your immune system in gradually increasing doses over time. This teaches your immune system to ignore or tolerate this substance instead of reacting with allergy symptoms.
Sublingual immunotherapy is as effective as allergy shots but doesn’t require the use of painful needles. You can also self-administer sublingual immunotherapy at home, instead of needing a doctor’s visit for every dose.
Get Long-Term Relief With Wyndly
When you’re ready to find lifelong relief from your allergy symptoms, Wyndly can help. Based on your allergies and allergy history, our doctors will create a personalized treatment plan for you, designed to bring you long-term allergy relief.
Schedule your allergy consultation with Wyndly today if you’re ready for an allergy-free life!
Juniper Tree Allergy FAQs
Below are some frequently asked questions about juniper allergies.
Can juniper allergies be deadly?
Although it’s rare for juniper allergies to be deadly, those with asthma or OAS may suffer additional complications from their juniper allergies. If you experience a severe allergic response, be sure to seek medical care right away.
Will getting rid of the juniper trees in my yard help?
It’s difficult to get rid of juniper trees, and even if you do, it may not make that much of a difference. Juniper pollen can travel very long distances.
Can I move to a state without juniper trees?
Although juniper trees can be found in many states, it is possible to move away from some of the more allergenic species in the Southwest. Still, it may be worth trying sublingual immunotherapy to treat your allergies rather than moving.
When is juniper pollen at its worst?
Typically juniper pollen will peak in March and April.