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Don't wait for cedar fever symptoms, doctors say

The holiday season means those dreaded cedar allergies are creeping closer. If you're allergic, doctors recommend you act soon.

The holiday season means cedar season is getting closer, and doctors are reminding those who are allergic to act soon.

Dr. William Howland with the Allergy and Asthma Center of Austin used to suffer from allergies himself and vividly remembers what he had to go through.

"So people that get bad cedar allergy, their eyes are red and swollen and drippy, their nose is blocked, it’s runny, they're sneezing all the time, and sometimes, they're coughing and wheezing, and besides that, they just feel terrible,” Howland said.

However, he has some good news. Howland told KVUE News that allergy sufferers who act soon can avoid most of their symptoms this upcoming holiday season.

"We generally recommend that a person start a steroid nasal spray about a week before the season is about to come,” he said, “many people need both a steroid spray and an anti-histamine pill and an anti-histamine eye drop."

According to Howland, there are three steroid nasal sprays over the counter: Flonase, Rhinocort and Nasacort.

He said allergy sufferers should start using the spray by Dec. 15. As for the antihistamine pill and eye drops, people can wait to use those until cedar season actually starts.

Another option is allergy shots, but the treatments need to start months earlier.

“Allergy shots are a great way to deal with your allergy, but they require a built up period of several months before the season starts, so if a person has a bad cedar allergy, they’d rather start the shots let’s say in September or October,” he said.

Howland also said he especially recommends the allergy shots for those who suffer from allergies year round.

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