Bad news for allergy sufferers -- cedar season is here. The first cedar spores showed up on Sunday, and allergy doctors say this could be a terrible season for cedar fever.
Cedar trees line Loop 360 in Northwest Austin. Every December they spread yellow pollen and cedar fever symptoms.
Patients at the Allergy and Asthma Center of Austin say it’s a painful season.
"I had a low grade fever for two weeks. I didn't know what was going on. I thought I had strep throat, and got on antibiotics and nothing was doing anything. One day I decided to take a Claritin and everything went away," said patient Kelly Wunsch.
Three years ago Wunsch started getting allergy shots to build his immunity. He says they have alleviated his cedar fever symptoms.
“If cedar is through the roof I still have to take a Claritin every now and again, but I'm not keeping Walgreens in business like I used to be,” said Wunsch.
Cedar fever can feel like the flu. It causes itchy eyes, a sore throat, and runny nose. The cedar season typically starts in mid-December and lasts two months.
"I think people should take this as more of a warning to see their doctor, get on their medications, and get started now,” said Dr. Allen Lieberman.
Allergy doctors say nasal spray and eye drops work better than pills. The key is to be prepared, especially this winter.
“This year could be really horrible. It could really be one of the worst years for cedar we've had in a long time because it’s so dry,” said Dr. Lieberman.
The pollen count fluctuates from day to day. You can keep track of the day's count, as well as tomorrow's forecast, with our allergy blog on KVUE.com.