By Joshua Strommen MD, FACEP
Cedar fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is an allergic reaction that causes inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the nose and sinuses. In Central Texas from the months of December through March the pollination of cedar trees is occurring simultaneously with increased winds, which enables the widespread dispersion of the cedar pollen into the air.
Symptoms of Cedar Fever include:
· Itchy, watery, red eyes
· Sore Throat
· Runny Nose
Allergic rhinitis is diagnosed by identifying the above symptoms in addition to some physical exam findings specific to this condition. No lab studies or radiology studies are needed. This condition is treated with nasal steroids first, oral antihistamines, and systemic steroids may be helpful.
How is allergic rhinitis treated?
Beneficial measures for reducing allergen exposure:
· Wearing face masks when outside
· Using HEPA filters on vacuums and A/C filters
· Washing indoor/outdoor pets more regularly
· Washing hair and clothes after lengthy outdoor exposure
· Keeping windows closed
· Dusting your home regularly
At PremiER we can diagnose and treat the symptoms of cedar fever in our Urgent Care. There may be complicating factors like severe asthma, COPD, or severe diabetes, which can make the underlying problem and its treatment need a more measured approach.