Sniffing out remedies for ‘cedar fever’

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If you started the new year with congestion and watery eyes, you’re not alone. Mountain cedar allergy season is in full sneeze and will get worse during the next few weeks. The affliction is often called “cedar fever” and can indeed make you sick.

But don’t despair, says John Fling, MD, allergist and Pediatrics Professor at UNT Health Science Center. You can try several remedies.

First, the culprit: Ashe juniper, a small tree native to Central Texas and nicknamed mountain cedar, pollinates at this time of year. North Texas’ friendly southerly breezes bring the pollen our way.

Here are Dr. Fling’s recommendations for avoiding or alleviating the itchy eyes, sneezing and congestion:

  • Use a topical nasal steroid spray beginning several weeks before exposure, and continue through February.
  • Use antihistamines as needed.
  • Use allergy eye drops as needed.

To see a UNT Health provider, called 817-735-DOCS (3627).

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