Cedar allergy sufferers start your nasal steroids now
Cedar allergy protection and remedies that help you make the best of the season
Oh, those itchy, watery eyes, scratchy throat, sneezing, congestion, headaches.
December in South and Central Texas marks the beginning of cedar season. Stretching through March, mountain cedar or juniper trees pollinate, sending plumes of pollen granules hundreds of miles across the Lone Star State.
“Cedar creates havoc for allergy sufferers,” said Dr. David Gude. “But there are several lines of defense that can make the season better and bearable.”
Gude recommends starting nasal steroids now. “If you know you are allergic to cedar, it’s best to start them as early as Thanksgiving to give your body time to acclimate and create the block needed to stop the allergic reaction.”
Over-the-counter nasal steroids include Flonase, Nasacort Allergy 24HR, and Rhinocort. Prescription nasal steroids are also available.
How does a nasal steroid work?
For an allergic person, there are cells in the body which contain a “lock.” Pollens unlock the cell and release chemicals, among them histamines. The histamines attach to receptor sites on other cells and cause the sneezing, itching and congestion.
Nasal steroids change the configuration of the “lock” on the first cell and thus prevent the cell from opening and discharging the histamine content.
When do I use nasal steroids?
When antihistamines no longer relieve symptoms, nasal steroids become helpful. If you typically have “breakthrough” during allergy season where the antihistamine does not control all of the symptoms, then nasal steroids are a better choice during the entire season.
Nasal steroids act differently than antihistamines. They change the configuration of the “lock” on the first cell and thus prevent the cell from opening and discharging the histamine content.
Cedar creates havoc for allergy sufferers.
Histamine takes 7-10 days to “burn up” and thus the effect of the nasal steroid will not be seen immediately. Nasal steroids used today will have their greatest effect in 10-14 days.
If you forget to start the nasal steroid early, a doctor may be willing to provide an injection of steroids, or a prescription for oral steroids.
However, allergy sufferers should keep in mind:
- Use of these types of steroids are more medical tradition than scientific fact as there is no research that proves or disproves their effectiveness.
- Studies haven’t shown shots to be more effective than pills.
- Steroid shots or pills have a suppressive effect on the immune system.
Steroid nasal sprays are not addicting and can be used in combination with antihistamines. For moderate to severe allergies, or when pollen counts are high, or if we forget the daily nasal steroid, we can benefit from using both approaches.
Are there other cedar remedies and protection?
Allergy relief can also come from , and do have an adverse effect on blood pressure. For those who have high or low blood pressure, he recommends using sparingly or not at all.
Gude also advises nasal flushing with saline rinse and a Neti pot once a day.
If you are a cedar allergy sufferer, the best way to protect yourself is to reduce exposure to cedar by limiting time outdoors during days with high pollen counts. If you have to be outdoors, wear a simple filtration mask that can block the mouth and nose to reduce pollen ingestion.
Below are tips to reduce cedar’s infiltration in your 36棋牌.
- Keep your doors and windows closed. Run the air conditioner when the pollen is extremely high.
- Change your air conditioning filter often. You may want to use a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter to help filtrate the pollen even more.
- Dust your 36棋牌 with a damp cloth, and vacuum carpets with a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter each week.
- Take a shower and change your clothes after being outdoors for a long period of time. This will protect you from pollen that lands on your clothes and in your hair.
- Wash hands frequently to avoid getting pollen in eyes and nose.
- Bathe pets often, even if they live indoors.
- Eliminate cedar trees in your yard by replacing them with good hardwoods like elm, ash, or oak.
What is the difference between a cold and an allergy?
As a rule, itchy anything (eyes, throat, ears) is an indication of allergy. Sneezing, a sore throat, and nasal congestion can all be seen in both a cold and allergies. A secondary means of distinguishing between cold and allergies is timing. Do symptoms occur each year during January and February when Mountain Cedar is high? The third distinguishing factor is duration. Colds most often last 7-10, and sometimes up to 14, days. Allergies can extend many weeks and even months.
Talk with your physician or pharmacist about the best options for you to live sniffle, cough, and itch-free. Regardless of your allergy regimen, cedar is a seasonal allergy and sooner or later the irritants that plague you will be gone for a while and mother nature will provide a bit of relief.