Are you suffering from cedar allergies?
With the New Year and cold windy weather comes cedar season. Over the past week cedar pollen counts have started to increase. If you are one of the many people affected by cedar pollen here are some tips to help decrease or alleviate your symptoms:
- Avoidance. Avoiding cedar pollen is nearly impossible in Central Texas but there are some measures you may take in order to minimize and control your exposure to cedar pollen. Keep windows and doors closed, wear a mask while doing yard work/gardening, wash hands, face and clothing after coming in from outside, rinse sinuses with a nasal saline wash twice a day to remove pollen debris. Keep in mind that even after implementing these avoidance strategies many people continue to have symptoms.
- Allergy Medications. Allergy medications are available over the counter and as prescription. These medications are used to treat allergy symptoms such as runny nose, itchy/watery eyes, and nasal congestion. There are various forms of allergy medications available such as pills, nasal sprays, and eye drops. It is important to check with your health care provider prior to starting any of these medications to ensure you are on a regimen that will be safe and effective for you.
Immunotherapy. If symptoms are persistent or you prefer to avoid medications, you can be seen and evaluated by a board certified allergist to formulate a plan tailored to your individual needs. Typically this evaluation will include allergy skin testing and the development of individualized immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a holistic option that is used to desensitize the immune system to allergens such as cedar pollen.