By Robbie Owens

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – North Texans expecting a longer break from the Mountain Cedar should brace for some bad news: an unruly cousin is here and already causing trouble.

“What we found out was that it is a juniper — that it not mountain cedar — but, is related,” says Richard Wasserman, M.D., PhD, with Allergy Partners at Medical City Dallas. “There is a juniper that has pollinated intermittently over the past several weeks… it’s possible that what you’re feeling is a cross reaction between that juniper and your mountain cedar.”

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The cedar is an absolute misery maker for many North Texans but, the pollen typically appears in late December and January. But, it too can appear early. One pollen reporting station reported a record for Mountain Cedar on this date.

“It was absolutely insane,” says recent transplant Ryan Maurer. “I had no idea I even had allergies until I moved here!”

Those allergic to the Mountain Cedar call it ‘cedar fever’… but, ‘fever’ is about the only symptom not included.

“My eyes get all dried out and gross,” says Maurer, “I get stuffy nose, and I’m just unhappy and miserable.”

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Dr. Wasserman says mountain cedar levels are known to fluctuate wildly, “through the roof” one day, and then non-existent days later. However. One thing is certain — the worst is still ahead.

So get prepared.

Dr. Wasserman suggests avoiding the pollen if you can, and if you can’t, shower immediately after coming in from outside, “because if the pollen glittered, you’d look like you’re wearing an evening gown!”

He also says salt water/saline nasal sprays can provide relief. According to Wasserman, of the over-the-counter allergy relief options, steroid nasal sprays are safe, and the most effective. Of course, see your doctor if you still can’t get relief.

“Now, I just deal with it,” says Maurer. “I’ve been here just long enough to say, ya know, this is life here, let’s just keep rolling on.”

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