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Cedar Fever season is near, and it could be brutal for your allergies

It's almost Cedar Fever season, isn't that fun? (Photo: CBS Austin)

Cedar Fever season is approaching, and allergists predict it could be another harsh year for people who suffer from it.

"I'm just trying to mentally prepare myself,” Paul Wright said.

He’s been suffering from the pollen released by Mountain Cedar trees every winter since he first moved to Austin six years ago.

"I've had to go to the doctor before, because I thought I had the strep or flu, and then they say, ‘it's Cedar Fever, here's some steroids, so there's not much you can do about it,’ so you just kind of have to wait it out," he said.

His worst symptoms include muscle aches and fatigue.

The season typically starts right before Christmas and can last all the way into February or even March.

"It's our little Christmas present in Central Texas. We get all this Cedar pollen,” said Allergist and Partner at Allergy Austin, Dr. Doug Barstow, “The reason they call it Cedar Fever is because it feels like you have the flu pretty much for the entire month of January and even into February."

Barstow predicts this season could be just as bad as last year or even worse due to the rain that fell late in the year.

“The trees have a lot more water, and so they're probably going to rebound and have pretty heavy pollen counts again," he said.

The symptoms can include itchy eyes, a stuffy nose, and even body aches, but there are things allergy sufferers can do to minimize its effects.

"People can take a shower before they go to bed at night to wash some of the pollen out of their hair, and reduce some of their exposure, have your windows closed during the day so that there isn't cedar pollen blowing into your house, and utilize your air conditioners filter to kind of clean the indoor air as well," Barstow said.

He says over the counter allergy medicines also help.

"Things that people can do at home include nasal sprays and antihistamines that are available over the counter,” Barstow said. “We encourage people to try those first and see if they work out well."

But if that’s not enough, he suggests going to see an allergist.

"Something like allergy immunotherapy, allergy shots, or allergy drops are better solution than over the counter medicines,” Barstow said.

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