December 2, 2019

Cedar Fever: 5 Ways to Conquer

Cedar is one of the worst allergens for so many people, they start out every year sneezing and coughing as mountain cedar pollen covers our state. It’s quite easy for cedar pollen to be swept by the wind and travel hundreds of miles. In 1998, a researcher in Ontario, Canada found cedar pollen that had blown in all the way from Oklahoma to Central Texas.

Cedar flares up every year and you simply can’t avoid it, so here’s 5 things you need to do to finally conquer cedar allergies.

1) Don’t invite cedar into your home

Your home should be a place that you can escape seasonal allergies and for that to happen, cedar can’t be following you into your bedroom.

It’s so easy to forget how much pollen can stick to our body. We should treat pollen like we treat dirt. If it gets on your skin or clothes, it’s there until you wash it off. You wouldn’t walk into your home covered in dirt and lie down on your couch, and yet so many people do that everyday with cedar pollen.

To make this change, it starts with what you do when you come home. Change your clothes and wash off at least your hands and face when you come in. Clothes should be immediately discarded to your hamper, so they aren’t spreading pollen on the floor or furniture.

This rule applies to everyone that enters your home regularly – so that means kids and pets need the same treatment. For pets, wipe off their paws and give them a quick brush.

Keep the windows and doors closed. This time of year can have some absolutely gorgeous days, but leave your enjoyment of the outdoor air in the outdoors.

Another thing a lot of people forget during the winter is changing their air filters. While they aren’t getting as dirty as when you’re cranking the A/C all day in June, they’re still getting dirty. Change them monthly or as needed by checking them regularly.

2) Make your home a cedar-proof haven

Now that you’re not letting cedar inside your home, it’s time to get all the existing pollen out.

The first step is just simple cleaning. Wash and dust surfaces regularly to pick up any stray pollen that may have snuck into your home. When vacuuming, make your cleaning a lot less miserable and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. These vacuums suck up all the allergens instead of kicking them up into your face. If this isn’t an option – it’s time to put on a mask during your cleaning routine! Once you’ve vacuumed, don’t UNDO ALL YOUR WORK by cleaning out the vacuum in your home. Empty out your vacuum in your outdoor garbage can.

Bedding, drapes, and table cloths are sponges for collecting pollen. These should be washed regularly in hot water and dried in the dryer.

If you live in a humid area or have a room that can get steamy or moist, it’s a good idea to get a dehumidifier. Mold is a very common allergy and is found in most homes.

The last step is to make an area of your home truly allergy free by getting an air purifier with a HEPA filter. These bad boys eliminate 99% of allergens in a given area, and the more you spend, the larger the area it covers. Since it’s likely your first one, we recommend going with a smaller model and putting it in your bedroom or living area. Just remember to change the filter regularly!

3) Wash cedar out of your sinuses

We’ve reduced exposure from all of the pollen on the outside. Now it’s time to get rid of it on the inside. If there’s one thing we recommend most, outside of allergy drops, it’s regular saline rinses for allergy relief.

Pollen, dust, and anything that can fit in our nostrils can get stuck in our sinuses – and most of it sticks there for a long time if not properly addressed. Think about the last time you’ve done a saline rinse; now think about how many weeks, months, or YEARS of pollen and dust has gotten stuck in your sinuses.

Regular saline rinses are so important in tackling your allergies because it washes out the allergies from your system.

4) Stay on top of medicine

Taking antihistamines can come down to timing. So many people wait until they are miserable and stuffed up beyond comprehension before taking their medicine. Try to take your antihistamine as a preventative measure during high pollen days.

The faster you get your body responding to your allergies, the better. One of the main reasons that allergies, especially cedar, get so bad is because of the constant build up of symptoms. Managing the amount of cedar pollen you encounter and giving your body the tools it needs to fight back goes a long way in getting allergy relief.

5) Make your body resistant to cedar fever

The final step is making cedar no longer a pest in your life. The only way to do this is through immunotherapy via allergy drops or shots. This form of treatment slowly introduces allergens to the body so they’re not seen as much of a threat and your immune system becomes less reactive toward them.

Drops and shots are equally as effective, but we always recommend allergy drops because they’re taken at home and are completely pain-free. Drops are customized for your allergies, so not only is your cedar allergy getting better, but so are your allergies to pet dander, mold, grasses, and whatever else that is affecting your health.

Chris Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson focuses solely on allergy, sinus and nasal treatment and is considered an expert in all three fields. He is one of a handful of doctors that played an integral role in the development of the cutting-edge sinus procedure, Balloon Sinuplasty.


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