Updated:

October 16, 2023

Conquering Cedar Allergies: Juniper Allergies & Cedar Fever Treatment Guide

Contrary to its name, cedar fever isn't a fever at all, but a form of allergic rhinitis triggered by the pollen from mountain cedar trees and certain species of juniper. In this guide, we'll provide a comprehensive resource for understanding and managing these seasonal allergies, going over the various cedar fever treatment options (including Aspire Allergy & Sinus allergy drops). Because when it comes to cedar fever, knowledge truly is power—and relief. 

What is cedar fever?

Mountain cedar is renowned for its highly allergenic pollen, which can make cedar fever treatment challenging. The name "cedar fever" can lead to confusion, as it inaccurately implies that the allergy is caused by a cedar tree and might involve fever, which is not the case. While the symptoms of cedar fever might be close to those of hay fever or general sickness, a fever is actually not a symptom. Cedar fever is notorious for being a severe allergy season due to the large quantity of pollen released by Ashe Juniper trees. These pollen grains are small and lightweight, making them easily inhalable. During the pollination season, the air can become filled with the distinct aroma of mountain cedar pollen. While some might find this scent pleasant, for allergy sufferers, it's a reminder of the impending discomfort.

Juniper or mountain cedar trees

No discussion of cedar fever treatment would be complete without an explanation about mountain cedar. Despite its name, mountain cedar is not a true cedar tree but a type of juniper tree. Ashe Juniper, scientifically known as Juniperus ashei, is a type of juniper tree native to North America. Mountain cedar predominantly grows in the south-central region of the United States, primarily in Texas, but it also extends into parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, and northern Mexico. As a result, individuals living in these areas are most affected by cedar fever, with the pollen released during the season causing significant allergic responses in many of the local population. The tree releases fine, powdery pollen grains during its reproductive phase, which become airborne and are carried over long distances by the wind. Despite being considered a nuisance by allergy sufferers, mountain cedar is a hardy and resilient tree, well-adapted to withstand drought and harsh environmental conditions, making it an important part of the ecosystem in the regions where it grows.

Moving to another area to escape cedar fever is not always effective. Mountain cedar pollen can travel hundreds of miles on the wind, affecting individuals far from the source, and making it difficult for allergy-prone individuals to avoid exposure.

When is cedar fever season? 

Before we talk about cedar fever treatment, let's look at cedar fever season. Unlike many other trees that have a short pollination period, mountain cedar's pollination season can last for several weeks, intensifying the allergy season and making it challenging for those affected to find relief. Cedar fever season typically occurs during the late winter months, starting from December and extending through February. This time frame aligns with the peak pollination period of the Ashe Juniper, triggering allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.

As global temperatures rise, mountain cedar trees have been observed to produce even more pollen, potentially exacerbating cedar fever symptoms for allergy sufferers in the future.

Cedar fever symptoms: 

Cedar fever, despite its name, does not actually cause a fever. Instead, it refers to a seasonal allergic reaction triggered by the pollen of the Ashe Juniper. The true symptoms of cedar fever primarily affect the respiratory system. 

Once inhaled, mountain cedar pollen can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals, leading to symptoms like:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose 
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Sore or scratchy throat
  • Fatigue
  • The high pollen concentration during this season can be especially troublesome for those with respiratory conditions, such as asthma

While the allergy can make people feel quite unwell, it's important to note that an elevated body temperature, which characterizes a fever, is not caused by cedar fever itself. If anyone experiences symptoms beyond typical allergic reactions during cedar season, such as a fever, it's essential to seek medical attention to rule out other possible illnesses or infections.

How to prevent cedar fever

Any effective cedar fever treatment plan includes prevention measures like:

 

Staying Indoors During Peak Pollen Times: One of the most effective ways to avoid cedar allergies is to limit outdoor activities during the peak pollen times, typically in the early morning and late afternoon. This reduces direct exposure to mountain cedar pollen, which is most prevalent during these periods.

Using Air Purifiers and HEPA Filters: Installing high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in your home can help trap airborne pollen particles, reducing the overall pollen concentration indoors. Running air purifiers with HEPA filters in bedrooms and other living areas can create a pollen-free sanctuary.

Keeping Windows and Doors Closed: While fresh air is often inviting, keeping windows and doors closed during cedar season can significantly reduce pollen infiltration into indoor spaces. This measure helps maintain a pollen-free environment and minimizes exposure to allergens.

Wearing Protective Clothing: When spending time outdoors during the cedar pollen season, consider wearing long-sleeved shirts, hats, and sunglasses to prevent pollen from coming into direct contact with your skin and eyes.

Frequent Washing and Showering: Pollen particles can easily adhere to hair, skin, and clothing, increasing the risk of exposure. Regularly washing your hands, face, and hair, and changing clothes after spending time outdoors can help reduce the amount of pollen carried indoors.

Nasal Irrigation (Rinsing): Nasal irrigation involves flushing out the nasal passages with a saline solution using a neti pot or a nasal irrigation device. This process helps remove trapped pollen and allergens from the nasal passages, reducing nasal congestion and alleviating allergy symptoms.

How to treat cedar fever

Cedar fever poses a significant challenge in terms of treatment, mainly due to the difficulty of completely avoiding exposure to mountain cedar pollen during its peak pollination season. As the pollen is airborne and can travel long distances on the wind, even relocating to a different area may not provide full relief. Additionally, the symptoms of cedar fever can closely resemble those of other respiratory conditions, leading to misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment. While there is no cure for cedar fever, several juniper allergy treatment options can help alleviate its symptoms and improve the quality of life for affected individuals.

Short-term treatments for cedar fever:

Antihistamines

These over-the-counter or prescription medications work by blocking the histamine release, which is responsible for many allergy symptoms. Antihistamines can help alleviate sneezing, runny nose, and itching associated with cedar fever.

Nasal Corticosteroids

These nasal sprays are effective in reducing inflammation in the nasal passages caused by the allergic response. They can provide relief from congestion and other nasal symptoms.

Decongestants

Available in oral or nasal spray forms, decongestants can help reduce nasal congestion by constricting blood vessels in the nasal passages. However, they should be used cautiously and for short periods to avoid potential side effects like rebound congestion.

Best allergy medicine for cedar fever

The best allergy medicine for cedar fever is treating it with long-term treatments. This approach to cedar allergy treatment will attack your allergies at the root cause, not just mask the symptoms like antihistamines will. At Aspire Allergy & Sinus, we specialize in long-term allergy treatments to help you find real relief for cedar fever! 

Cedar fever drops

Cedar fever can be effectively treated with sublingual immunotherapy, also known as allergy drops, provided by Aspire Allergy & Sinus. Sublingual immunotherapy involves administering small amounts of the allergen (mountain cedar pollen) under the tongue, where it is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. Aspire Allergy & Sinus tailors the treatment to each patient's specific allergen sensitivity, creating personalized allergy drops that can be conveniently taken at home. Sublingual immunotherapy is a safe and efficient alternative to traditional allergy shots, particularly suitable for patients who prefer a needle-free approach or have difficulty with frequent clinic visits. Sublingual immunotherapy drops, or cedar fever drops, should be created by an allergist and not purchased over the counter, as allergies are unique to each individual and cannot be solved long term with an over-the-counter product.

Cedar fever subcutaneous immunotherapy

An equally effective cedar allergy treatment is immunotherapy offered by Aspire Allergy & Sinus. Subcutaneous immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, involves administering gradually increasing doses of the allergen over a period of time. The goal of immunotherapy is to desensitize the immune system to the allergen, reducing the severity of cedar fever symptoms over time. By exposing the immune system to controlled amounts of mountain cedar pollen, the body learns to tolerate the allergen rather than triggering an allergic response. 

Exact Immunoplasty for cedar fever

Another treatment for cedar fever is our newest and most innovative treatment, ExACT Immunoplasty. This innovative treatment involves a precise injection of the allergen directly into the lymph nodes. By targeting the lymphatic system, the body's immune response is modified more effectively, leading to quicker and enhanced desensitization. ExACT offers the advantage of reducing the duration of treatment compared to traditional methods, while still delivering long-lasting relief from cedar fever symptoms.

How Aspire Allergy & Sinus can help your cedar fever

At Aspire Allergy & Sinus, we understand the challenges that cedar season presents for individuals struggling with allergies. We know the distressing impact that cedar fever can have on your daily life and overall well-being. That's why we are dedicated to providing comprehensive allergy testing and a wide range of cedar fever treatment options specifically designed to bring relief from cedar allergy symptoms. Our team of compassionate and experienced allergists and sinus specialists work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs, offering effective long-term management of your cedar allergies. 

Take back control of your life and find respite from the struggles of cedar season by scheduling an appointment online with Aspire Allergy & Sinus today. We are here to support you through this challenging time and help you discover lasting relief from the discomfort of cedar allergies.

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