How To Minimize Effects of Cedar Fever
NOTE: Mountain Cedar is also referred to as Ashe Juniper
Austin is considered one of the top “allergy capitals” in the US. Dallas and Fort Worth Texas have very similar pollen counts to Austin Texas. There are allergens in the air throughout the year in varying amounts but for Central Texas, December through February can be the most uncomfortable time due to cedar allergies. January is peak season for mountain cedar, one of the most potent allergy-triggers in the area. Combat the cedar pollen in your home and limit your exposure to the allergens with these tips for surviving cedar fever.
Time Required: As long as it takes to eliminate exposure and alleviate effects of cedar allergies
- Stay inside. Staying indoors won’t automatically protect you but it can help immensely. Cedar pollen is usually strongest in the mornings, especially from 5am to 10am. When you must be outside for extended periods of time, do it in the afternoon or evening when pollen counts may be lower.
- Get rid of cedar trees. Replace male cedar trees in your yard with other types of trees. Encourage your neighbors to do the same. Ash, elm, and oak are good choices.
- Take a shower. After being outside for an extended time, take a shower and wash your clothes to remove cedar pollen that you may bring in on your clothes and in your hair. Take evening showers so that you aren’t sleeping in a pollen-coated bed all night.
- Shut the windows. Keep windows and doors closed both in your home and in your car when travelling to minimize exposure to cedar pollen.
- Use the air conditioner. When cedar pollen counts are high, run your air conditioner. Frequently change your filter, use a HEPA filter, or place cheesecloth over your vents to help filter more pollen.
- Dust your furniture. Keep your home as dust-free as possible. Dust with a damp cloth and keep carpets and upholstery vacuumed.
- Bathe your pets. In addition to showering to rinse cedar pollen off of yourself, bathe your pets as well, even if they stay indoors all the time. Their fur traps pollen.
- Take allergy medicines. Take your prescribed cedar allergy medications as directed by your doctor. For over-the-counter medications, try to take it at the same time every day. Some evidence suggests this is more effective than simply popping a pill on an as-needed basis.
Pollen counts are typically lowest during or just after it rains (nature’s way of showering off the pollen) and on cool, cloudy days.