Cedar fever is a common affliction in Texas, especially when the colder months arrive. While cedar fever is not a contagious disease, its symptoms can be very uncomfortable and even debilitating for allergy sufferers.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to manage fever and find relief during the season. Urgent care clinics like City Doc also provide allergy testing and urgent care services for common non-life-threatening allergy symptoms.
Cedar Fever Season in Texas
In Texas, the mountain cedar tree (Juniperus ashei) sheds its pollen during the months leading up to winter, and this can lead to an increase in cedar fever cases — hence, the term cedar allergy season.
The months of December up to February are typically the peak of cedar allergy season in Texas, with cases extending up to March. As such, cedar fever is considered a seasonal allergy.
As with most seasonal allergies, however, fever can also occur during other times of the year. The levels of cedar pollen in the air may reach peak levels at different times than usual due to changes in weather or other factors.
What Is Cedar Fever?
Cedar fever, sometimes called hay fever, is a seasonal allergic reaction to pollen.
The term comes from the cedar mountain tree that is populous in Central Texas, but the allergy symptoms can be caused by any pollen-producing plant such as tree nuts and flowering plants.
When cedar pollen or allergens are breathed in, it can trigger an allergic reaction such as sneezing and watery eyes.
Hay fever is a similar condition but is often caused by grass, weeds, and dust mites.
Cedar fever is often confused with allergic rhinitis, but the two are actually quite different. Allergic rhinitis is a general term for any type of pollen-based allergy, and cedar fever specifically refers to the allergic reaction caused by the pollen from cedar trees in Texas.
What Are the Common Symptoms of Cedar Fever Allergy?
Mild symptoms of cedar fever include:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose and sinus pressure
- Sore throat
- Low-grade fever
In some cases, cedar allergy can cause asthma and other respiratory issues such as a sinus infection.
However, emergency medical attention is needed if you notice the following symptoms of a severe allergic reaction:
- Anaphylactic shock: Swelling of lips, eyes, and throat; difficulty breathing; dizziness; low blood pressure; rapid pulse
- Chest tightness
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Swelling in the throat and other areas
Causes of Cedar Fever
Cedar fever, in particular, is caused by the immune system’s allergic reaction to the pollen of mountain cedar trees. To a healthy immune system, mountain cedar pollen is harmless, but to an allergy-prone one, exposure can quickly become problematic.
The symptoms of fever can be exacerbated by other common allergy triggers such as:
- Pet dander
- Mold spores
- Dust mites
- Pollen from other plants and trees
- Air pollution
- Smoke, strong odors
- Food allergies (in some cases)
How to Treat Texas Cedar Fever
Common allergic symptoms can be easily treated with over-the-counter medications such as:
- nasal sprays
For more severe allergic reactions, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications such as:
- steroid nasal sprays
- leukotriene modifiers
Allergy shots or drops (immunotherapy) are another option to reduce the sensitivity to cedar pollen and other allergens, but they should be discussed with an allergy specialist first.
Our allergy specialists at City Doc Urgent Care are happy to help you with your cedar fever symptoms and provide a treatment plan that works best for you.
Avoiding outdoor activities during peak pollen times is one of the best ways to prevent fever.
Depending on your medical history, it’s also important to avoid other triggers that have caused your past allergic reactions. Generally, it’s advised to keep dust mites and pet dander in your home at a minimum by frequently cleaning, keeping windows closed, and using an air purifier.
Tips to Know When Preparing for Cedar Fever Season in Texas
If you are prone to allergies and live in Central Texas, preparation is key during the peak months of fever season. Here are some tips to help you:
1. Limit outdoor activities
Pollen levels tend to be highest from mid-December through mid-February. Consider staying home as much as possible during this time. Having an air purifier at home can also help reduce allergens.
2. Wear a mask outside
Wearing a face mask can help filter out the cedar pollen. Make sure to wear a mask rated for pollen allergens if you must go outside. If you also suffer from asthma, talk to your doctor about an appropriate mask for you.
3. Keep windows closed
Keeping your windows shut can help prevent cedar pollen from entering your home, so make sure to open them only when absolutely necessary. The same goes for driving in your car.
4. Change your clothes and wash off before coming inside
If you have been outside, make sure to change your clothes and take a shower before entering the house. This will help prevent any pollen from lingering and entering the home.
5. Check pollen levels before going outside
If you can, check your local weather and allergy forecasts so you know what to expect in terms of pollen levels. Some of the things you should watch out for are high humidity, windy conditions, and the presence of other allergens such as mold.
Allergies Urgent Care: City Doc for Allergy Relief
Dealing with fever or any kind of allergic reaction can be overwhelming. While allergy treatment for mild cases can be done at home, more severe symptoms require the attention of licensed medical professionals.
At City Doc Urgent Care, our experienced allergy specialists are here to provide you with the best care and treatment for seasonal allergies like cedar fever. We offer allergy testing, urgent care for breathing treatments and upper respiratory tract infections (URTI), sinus infections, and more.
Contact us today for more information about our services and how we can help you with your allergy needs!
How long does cedar fever last?
The symptoms of cedar fever usually last for 1-2 weeks.
Does cedar fever only affect people in Texas?
No, cedar fever can affect people in other parts of the world apart from Texas. As long as there are cedar trees in the area, then you may be more susceptible to cedar fever.
How do you get rid of cedar fever?
Allergy treatment for cedar fever includes avoidance, medications, and allergy shots. It is best to consult with an allergist or a certified allergist at City Doc Urgent Care for the best treatment plan that works best for you.
What is the best medicine for cedar fever?
The best medicine for cedar fever depends on the severity of your symptoms and medical history. Some common medicines used to treat cedar fever include antihistamines, decongestants, and corticosteroids. Talk to your doctor about the best medicine for you.
Is cedar fever harmful to humans?
Cedar fever is typically non-life threatening. However, if there is a severe allergic reaction such as anaphylactic shock, then it can be potentially dangerous. If you experience worsening symptoms, chest tightness, breathing difficulties, and a sudden drop in blood pressure, seek immediate medical care at your nearest emergency room.
Is cedar fever caused by food allergies?
Common food allergies can sometimes contribute to cedar fever, but it is not the main cause. Foreign substances that come in contact with the nasal passages of an allergy sufferer are the primary causes.
How is cedar fever different from a sinus infection?
Cedar fever is an allergic reaction to cedar pollen, while a sinus infection is caused by viruses and bacteria that infect the nasal passages. You may also seek allergy testing at City Doc Urgent Care for a more accurate diagnosis.