Get Out The Tissues, DFW

It’s that time of year when the storms start rolling in and everything is filtered through a yellow haze of plant pollen. But, this year it might be getting worse. If you’re an allergy sufferer, you’ll want to read an article in the Dallas Morning News explaining why and what you can do about it.

Watch: Pollen explodes from trees in Central Texas — and it could make its way to Dallas-Fort Worth

Even though Lake Travis is about 200 miles away from Dallas-Fort Worth, that pollen could stir up allergies North Texas.

Mountain cedar trees bloom at the Kiest Tennis Center in Dallas. (2016 File Photo/Tom Fox)

By Jesus Jimenez

2:31 PM on Jan 6, 2020

Get Out The Tissues, DFW

It’s mountain cedar season in Texas.

A video taken by Steve Mierl shows cedar pollen exploding from trees near Lake Travis near Austin.

Even though Lake Travis is about 200 miles away from Dallas-Fort Worth, the pollen could stir up allergies issues North Texas.

During the winter, it’s not uncommon for winds from the south-southwest to blow mountain cedar — also referred to Ashe juniper — from Central Texas to North Texas, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Patricia Sanchez. This can mean sneezing and watery eyes for many North Texans.

Mountain cedar season typically runs from December through February, peaking in January, according to Plano-based ENTDocs.

Achoo!!! We found the culprit. #CedarPollen #TXStateParks

ENTDocs listed Sunday’s mountain cedar pollen count as moderate. Pollen.com’s allergy report had pollen counts listed as medium-to-high on Monday, with pollen counts expected to stay that way through the end of the week.

There is some hope for allergy sufferers in North Texas: Rain is in the forecast for Dallas-Fort Worth late Friday into Saturday. Pollen counts typically drop after it rains, according to ENTDocs.

Here’s what ENTDocs says you can do to help with mountain cedar allergies:

  1. Stay inside. Staying indoors won’t automatically protect you, but it can help immensely. Cedar pollen is usually strongest in the mornings, especially from 5 to 10 a.m. When you must be outside for extended periods, do it in the afternoon or evening when pollen counts may be lower.

  2. Get rid of cedar trees. Replace male cedar trees in your yard with other types of trees. Encourage your neighbors to do the same. Ash, elm and oak are good choices.

  3. Take a shower. After being outside for an extended time, take a shower and wash your clothes to remove cedar pollen that you may bring in on your clothes and in your hair. Take evening showers so that you aren’t sleeping in a pollen-coated bed all night.

  4. Shut the windows. Keep windows and doors closed in your home to minimize pollen exposure.

  5. Dust your furniture. Keep your home as dust-free as possible. Dust with a damp cloth and keep carpets and upholstery vacuumed.

  6. Bathe your pets. In addition to showering to rinse cedar pollen off of yourself, bathe your pets as well, even if they stay indoors all the time. Their fur traps pollen.

  7. Take allergy medicines. Take prescribed cedar allergy medications as directed by your doctor. For over-the-counter medications, try to take it at the same time every day. Some evidence suggests this is more effective than simply popping a pill on an as-needed basis.

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