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'Cedar Fever' is back in San Antonio!

There are things you can do to control it besides medication

SAN ANTONIO — "Cedar Fever" is back!

It is the perfect combination of sunlight and temperatures causing the trees to release the pollen that is so small and light it can travel hundreds of miles, causing the pollen to spread and be inhaled by allergy sufferers.

"I've had mountain cedar allergies for approximately 23 years," said Santos Jimenez who works at the South Texas Allergy and Asthma Medical Professionals. He's also a cedar patient and told us, "Itchy watery eyes. I get a whole bunch of sinus pressure going on. It's just a real build-up like you got hit by a brick house it's pretty bad."

"People come here from other parts of the country to do research studies just because the cedar pollen is such a tremendous pollen to study," said allergist and immunologist Dr. John Dice.

He says when the pollen count gets this high, over the counter medications like Zyrtec and sprays like Flonase often aren't enough for some patients. Dr. Dice said, "In the clinic we often give people a steroid shot or a steroid pill that will really dramatically reduce their symptoms."

Some of the more common symptoms of cedar fever include a runny nose and nasal blockage, itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, fatigue, sore throat and a headache.

Cedar allergies affect many people from November through March, but the heaviest times of pollination occur in December, January and February. While most people can't hide from the pollen completely, there are steps you can take to minimize your exposure even when you are indoors.

Keep your doors and your windows closed. Vacuum your carpets with a HEPA equipped vacuum filter every week. Dust surfaces of your home with a damp cloth because using a dry one will just push the allergens around. Running air conditioner when the pollen is extremely high and make sure to change your air filter often.

Dr. Dice added, "If it is dramatically affecting your life and you can't do your activities or can't go to work it's time to see an allergist who can use stronger medications and even consider therapy."

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