AUSTIN, Texas — If you've been sneezing and dealing with itchy eyes the past few days, cedar pollen could be the reason why.
According to KVUE meteorologists, the cedar pollen counts are through the roof right now. We confirmed with an allergy specialist that this is in fact peak season and it's one of the worst she's seen.
It's normally the second week of January that's why you're probably seeing a lot of miserable people. Viewers have been spotting the yellow, hazy skies and sending in videos of cedar pollen. It's the culprit of cedar fever.
If you're new to Central Texas, you may be wondering what that is by definition. Cedar fever is an allergic reaction to mountain cedar pollen.
We spoke with Dr. Jackee Kayser with Dell Children's Medical Group, who said she's seeing this in a good number of her pediatric patients – 25% of them.
There are ways we can all avoid it. She said one way is to spend less time outdoors.
“Really try to keep the windows to your home and your car closed and if you must stay outdoors for a prolonged period, when you return back home, make sure that you quickly shower and try to wash those clothes quickly,” said Kayser.
You may also want to consider changing your air filter. Dr. Kayser said your pets can carry cedar pollen in their coats too, so it's important to bath them regularly.
Pollen season for mountain cedar runs from late December to late February, so we’re right in the thick of it.
Some cedar fever symptoms include sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy eyes and nose.
You may have noticed some of the symptoms are similar to the flu. Dr. Kayser the big question to ask yourself is do you have a fever? That's because the phrase cedar fever is really a misnomer. She said there shouldn't be any fever with it, while the flu normally does.
WATCH: Cedar Fever myths debunked
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