Cooler weather and changing of the season brings several things to mind-family gatherings, holiday feasts, and, if you are like the other millions of allergy sufferers…mountain cedar sniffles!
Cedar season begins as early as November, but typically peaks in January. Interestingly, the pollen that causes “cedar fever” is not actually cedar at all-it is from the Ashe Juniper tree, a small drought-tolerant evergreen shrub native to central Texas. The pollen of this wind-pollinated plant triggers an allergic reaction that then leads to sneezing, itchy/watery eyes, swelling of the nasal passages and increased mucus.
Why do some people have allergies? It is thought to be a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental triggers. What can you do about it? Well, when the pollen count is high, avoid going outside, use an air purifier, shower before bed, and take an antihistamine (such as claritin, zyrtec, or allegra). Taking one with a decongestant may help even more.
Other medications that are currently only available by prescription may help-these include nasal steroid sprays (which decrease inflammation in the nose), nasal antihistamines, and even steroid shots. When these medications fail to improve symptoms, allergy evaluation and allergy shots (immunotherapy) are indicated.
To stay up to date on local pollen counts please click here.
Great Hills ENT serves the greater Austin area including Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders.