Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Feeling lousy? It's the season for cedar fever

San Antonio Express (subscription) - San Antonio,TX,USA

Amy DorsettExpress-News Staff Writer
It's said that life offers only two guarantees: death and taxes. This time of year, South Texans can add another to that list: cedar fever.
Hill Country residents report seeing the beginning traces of the dreaded allergy that leaves a population of itchy, red-rimmed eyes, runny noses and congested heads in its wake.
Brace yourselves and pass the tissues — those who read the tea leaves (in this case ashe juniper trees, commonly known as mountain cedar) warn that this season may be worse than most.
"We've had almost perfect weather for cedar the last few weeks," said Dr. Paul Ratner, an allergist. "What triggers cedar are the cooler temperatures and the north winds, which is what we're having."
Ratner said he was in the Hill Country over the weekend and could already see the beginnings of pollen on the mountain cedars.
"The trees are beginning to change colors and pollinate," he said.
The peak of cedar fever usually begins around mid-December, and sufferers don't get relief until as late as March.
Dr. Dale Mohar, a Kerrville allergist, said now is the time for the afflicted to begin taking prophylactic medications, including prescription nasal steroids, antihistamines and eye drops.
"There's a lot of studies that show that if you pre-treat you do a lot better than if you wait until you're miserable," he said.
Symptoms of cedar fever include itchy eyes, post-nasal drip, sneezing, headaches and fatigue. The allergy doesn't actually cause a fever, but sufferers feel feverish and some experience a flushing sensation.
Dr. Dale Wood, an allergist, said mountain cedar can put people in misery.
"Overall, you just don't feel good," he said. "Sometimes you can't even work. It just wears them down."
Ana Russell, who teaches at a cosmetology school, has suffered from cedar fever for 17 years.
"It drains you; it saps you of your energy," she said Monday, while running errands. "You don't feel bad enough to stay in bed and you don't get much sympathy, but you just feel lousy."
Patricia S. Gerecci, a composition professor at San Antonio College, recently returned to town after years of living in Houston, where she regularly battled ragweed. She's spent time studying holistic medicine and thinks cedar fever is partly due to a compromised immune system that is overloaded by the holidays.
"I believe it's aggravated by stress," she said. "What we perceive to be cedar fever is really Christmas in the air."
Mark Peterson, regional community forester for the Texas Forest Service, said weather conditions this year should benefit mountain cedar trees.
"The dry weather really doesn't impact cedar as much as other plants. They're drought-tolerant, so they'll continue doing well," he said. "So we're not going to catch a break."

No comments:


Dr. Group's Secret to Health Kit

Dr. Group's Secret to Health Kit

[ learn more ]

Add to Cart

Dr. Group's Secret to Health Kit offers simple at-home solutions for cleansing internally and externally thereby reducing toxins, restoring the body's natural healing process, and helping you achieve true health and happiness.