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What Is Cedar Fever?


From December to February, cedar fever, the scourge of many Central Texas allergy sufferers, makes its irritating presence known.


Cedar fever is something of a misnomer because it's actually caused by the pollen of the ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei), an evergreen shrub native to northeastern Mexico and the south-central United States. Some people mistakenly call the ashe juniper mountain cedar, hence the term "cedar fever" that refers to the seasonal allergic rhinitis that results from exposure to the pollen.


Signs of cedar fever include sinus congestion, sneezing, coughing, irritated eyes and low-grade fever.


Medicinal remedies include over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants. Cedar fever sufferers can ask physicians to prescribe corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory drugs, but ideally such treatments should begin before allergy season starts. Doctors can also prescribe a series of allergy shots. A non-medicinal remedy is nasal irrigation -- using a neti pot or commercial saline solution -- to clear the pollen out of nasal passages.

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