Allergy Alert! Cedar Pollen Is Bad And Now It’s Got Company

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DALLAS (CBS11) – A warm, wonderful January day is something of a mixed blessing for those bothered by allergies. And if you think it’s bad now—brace yourself and buy more tissue.

“Oh yeah, it’ll get worse,” said Dr. Robert Sugerman of Medical City Dallas Hospital.

Dr. Sugerman said North Texas has plenty of local cedar that will hit its peak season for pollen in the next week or so. And if that weren’t bad enough, it’s now got company.

“What we are seeing now in terms of very high levels of cedar pollen are blowing from southwest of us and that’s where cedar pollen is highest right now, its in the Texas Hill Country,” said Dr. Sugerman.  “Then we get southwesterly winds and we just get killed.”

Not literally of course, but allergy sufferers say it sometimes feels like it!

“This season has been very bad,” said 17-year-old Ruxton Kelly, who said he loves to be outdoors. “It’s constantly been sneezing and coughing and runny nose. It’s been awful.”

“Perfect storm,” said Dr. Sugerman. “Every year has its days and sometimes weeks of high pollen count, and I think you’re seeing a particularly bad perfect storm right now with the bright breezy conditions and plenty of sunshine… and plenty of wind to blow the pollen around.”

Doctors say ideally anyone bothered by the cedar should start taking allergy medicine before the season hits. But, if you’re sneezing and sniffling now, start taking the medication and do so regularly. It’s late, but the season is long.

“Definitely start those medicines because you have 8 weeks ahead of you for cedar pollen, especially on bright breezy days,” said Dr. Sugerman.

Vanessa Galvan said her allergies have kept her cooped up, but couldn’t resist the lure of White Rock Lake.

“There’s so much pollen right now, that people don’t even get to enjoy the outdoors and it has kept me from going outside for awhile,” said Galvan. “I was afraid of it getting worse.”

Dr. Sugerman said he doesn’t discourage his allergy patients from getting out and enjoying the great weather, saying a sedentary lifestyle is more hazardous than allergies.

Still, he recommends taking the allergy medicine regularly and washing off the pollen once coming inside: that includes hands and face. A saline solution can wash pollen from your nose and especially your hair.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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