Cedar Fever: What Is this Winter Allergy and How Can You Treat It?

Updated
Updated

How do you treat cedar fever?

Cedar fever is an intense reaction to cedar pollen that can bring on cold or flu-like symptoms. It’s possible to treat this allergy by using immunotherapy. Immunotherapy introduces small doses of cedar to your immune system, retraining it to ignore this substance and providing you with relief from symptoms.

Did you know that there's an allergy that only affects people in the winter? Cedar fever allergy develops from pollen released by the mountain cedar. While this drought-tolerant evergreen grows from Mexico to Missouri, there are extensive forests of mountain cedar throughout Texas, which gives the allergy its nickname, Texas Allergy.

What Is Cedar Fever?

Come December, thousands of people experience an allergic reaction to pollen from the mountain cedar. While the rest of the nation recovers from Thanksgiving and looks forward to the holidays, cedar fever allergy sufferers are sniffing, sneezing, and coughing. All because the mountain cedar, which grows across Texas and the southwest, is releasing massive amounts of pollen.

While cedar fever season runs November through March, December is when the tree releases one of the highest concentrations of pollen seen from any plant on the planet. Clouds of pollen envelop entire towns and cities. If the conditions are right, pollen can spread more than 100 miles in one day. And for about 25% of the people who have this allergy, it means a season of misery.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Cedar Fever?

If you suffer from cedar fever allergy, don’t expect a fever. You won’t get one. Instead, you may experience one or more of these symptoms:

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Runny or congested nose
  • Cough
  • Itchy throat

Although they are not as common, there are other symptoms of mountain cedar allergy such as:

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Blocked ears
  • Partial loss of smell

How Do You Prepare for Cedar Fever Allergy Season?

Assuming you can’t leave your area during allergy season, there are other options for reducing cedar fever symptoms. If you use allergy medication, start taking it daily in mid-to-late November. To further protect yourself from severe allergy symptoms, follow these tips.

Wash Your Hair

Pollen grain and mold spores float through the air and can gather in your hair during the day. If you don’t wash your hair before bed, you spread these particles to your pillow, then to your face. Not only should you wash your hair before bed, but wash your pillowcases regularly, too!

Keep Your Eyebrows Clean

Just like mountain cedar pollen sticks to your hair, it also clings to your eyebrows and the fine hairs on your skin. With pollen so close to your eyes, they may become itchy or watery. You can reduce your cedar fever allergy symptoms by washing your eyebrows a few times a day.

Change Your Contact Lenses

Over time, allergens can build up on the surface of contact lenses and come in direct contact with your eyes. Consider switching to disposable lenses during cedar fever allergy season. You may even want to ditch contact lenses altogether for the holidays and opt for glasses instead.

Don’t Hang Clothes Outside

While you may enjoy the scent of laundry fresh off the line, you won’t like it during the cedar fever months. Freshly cleaned clothes act like magnets for mountain cedar pollen, which sticks to the fabric! Dry clothes indoors or use a machine dryer if you have one.

Track the Pollen Count

It’s easier than ever to get the daily pollen count. Whether you check the news, weather channel, or download an app, knowing when pollen is high allows you to prepare and pivot your plans when necessary.

Keep Windows Closed

Because pollen is so minuscule and spreads so easily in the wind, open windows act as an invite to the unwanted guests. Protect yourself at home and in the car by keeping windows closed. Routinely clean your air filters as well. Spores can gather in them and be unintentionally spread throughout your living space.

Invest in an Air Cleaner

Air cleaners and purifiers are great for those who suffer during cedar fever allergy season. These devices are great for your home, especially bedrooms, as they remove pollutants and impurities from the air you breathe, including mountain cedar pollen.

Suffering From Severe Cedar Fever Symptoms?

Allergy specialists often recommend antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays for cedar fever symptoms. Most recommend starting with over-the-counter medications, especially if your symptoms are mild. If your symptoms are severe or don’t show signs of improvement, schedule an allergy appointment to see if a prescription could help. Looking for a long-term solution? Schedule a consultation at Wyndly today to see if allergy immunotherapy is right for you!

Which Nasal Sprays Are Best for Treating Cedar Fever?

Congestion is a common symptom of cedar fever. Luckily, you can treat a clogged nose with nasal spray. Nasal sprays reduce inflammation and open up airways. Consider Flonase, which is available over-the-counter, or Nasonex, which needs a prescription.

Which Antihistamines Are Best for Treating Cedar Fever?

Antihistamines can reduce many of the symptoms of cedar fever including itchy eyes, scratchy throat, runny nose, and sneezing. Many of these medications are available over-the-counter, including Allegra, Claritin, and Zyrtec.

Cedar Fever in Texas

While cedar fever isn’t found only in Texas, the Lone Star State does have more mountain cedar than any other area of the country.

When Is Cedar Fever in Texas?

The Texas cedar fever season starts in late November and runs through April, reaching peak pollen levels from December through February.

Why Is Cedar Fever So Bad in Texas?

Cedar fever is especially bad in Texas because the center of the state has large areas of Ashe juniper trees. During cedar fever season, an extraordinary amount of pollen is released.

What Are Cedar Fever Allergy Drops?

The only effective way to reduce this Texas allergy long-term is through immunotherapy. And cedar fever allergy drops make it easier than ever! With Wyndly’s subscription service, you can even have your allergy treatment delivered right to your door.

Find a Long-Term Treatment for Cedar Fever Allergy

Whether you live, work, or plan to visit an area impacted by cedar fever any time from November through March, be prepared for the potential impact of mountain cedar pollen! At Wyndly, our allergy specialists can help reduce your cedar fever by providing guidance and relief through science-based allergy treatments delivered right to your door. Order your at-home test kit today to learn what Wyndly can do for you and your allergies.

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