Cedar season draws near


by ANDREW CHUNG / KVUE News and Photojournalist ERIN COKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @AndrewC_KVUE


Posted on December 6, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 6 at 10:19 PM

AUSTIN -- For allergy sufferers like Robert Tillotson, a visit to the doctor is something he knows all too well. He faces his enemy known as cedar pollen.

"Watery eyes, puffed-up eyes, a lot of itching," he said.

In the past, his cedar allergies were debilitating. "It's been a situation where I got so bad that I was literally, you know, four or five times a year, probably, sick in bed with allergy infections," said Tillotson.

For Dr. William Howland, an allergy expert at the Allergy and Asthma Center of Austin, Tillotson's case is just one of many. This is the time of year when the doctor anticipates and dreads cedar season.

"We're expecting a worse cedar season than usual, because dry weather is predicted during the season. So with a drier winter, if it's windier, lots more pollen gets into the air, which means it can get into our eyes and nose more," said Dr. Howland.

The average start of cedar season is mid to late December. That's why Dr. Howland says those who suffer from cedar fever should get their medications now. 

"The main thing a person should do, who's allergic to cedar, is to start on a prescription cortisone nasal spray by December 15," he explained. 

Tillotson loves Austin too much to let cedar fever get in his way.  He says the allergy shots he takes twice a month help him build resistance to the allergens. "Eventually I'm gonna wean myself, hopefully build up a strong enough immunity that I don't have to have shots anymore. So that's the overall goal."

That's when Tillotson knows he will have beaten cedar fever.

For more on cedar and other allergens, be sure to check out KVUE.com's allergy forecast page.

Click here for information on KVUE's allergy app.