Cedar pollen season is here. If you find yourself dealing with some new food allergies related to a cedar allergy or juniper allergy it may be oral allergy syndrome. Learn how to stop the symptoms.
If you are currently experiencing allergies it’s likely due to tree pollen, mainly cedar pollen. Cedar allergies affect people usually November through April with the heaviest levels of pollen occurring in December, January, and February.
In Oklahoma “tree season” starts with Mountain Cedar pollen and is later followed by Eastern Red Cedar pollen. It can cause a lot of problems for allergy suffers.
Cedar pollen is very common in Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinic have been showing a rise in the pollen counts lately.
Issues Caused by Cedar Allergies
The reaction to cedar pollen is sometimes called cedar fever. The symptoms are similar to hay fever which is usually caused by ragweed pollen.
The Symptoms of Cedar Fever
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Watery or itchy eyes
- Sinus and facial pain and pressure
- Decreased sense of taste or smell
- Itchy nose, the roof of the mouth, or throat
- While cedar fever doesn’t cause a fever, inflammation triggered by the allergic reaction can cause a slightly elevated temperature
Treatment Options for Cedar Allergies
Treatments include antihistamines, corticosteroids, allergy shots, decongestants, and other over-the-counter and prescription medications.
The best way to find what treatment is right for you is to talk to your doctor and possibly see an allergist. If you are in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinic can help you as well.
Oral Allergy Syndrome and Cedar Allergies
Another way you can help reduce your systems is by eliminating some foods that may be causing you to have something called oral allergy syndrome.
Oral allergy syndrome is caused by cross-reacting allergens found in pollen and in raw vegetables, fruits, seeds, and tree nuts. The immune system recognizes similar proteins found in these foods and causes an allergic reaction to them. Cooked forms of the foods don’t often cause the same issue.
It’s estimated that up to a third of pollen allergy patients suffer from oral allergy syndrome. Most cases are mild but they can cause serious, even life-threatening reactions.
Treatments for oral allergy syndrome include treating the underlying allergy with sublingual immunotherapy, antihistamines to control symptoms temporarily, and it’s also important to avoid symptom-causing foods, especially during peak allergy season.
Common oral allergy syndrome triggers for cedar pollen suffers include-
- Bell Peppers
If you eat these foods take note of any symptoms after. This can be helpful for your doctor to help figure out if you have oral allergy syndrome or if your symptoms are a food allergy.
The most common symptoms of oral allergy syndrome include-
- Watery or itchy eyes
- Tingling in the back of your throat
- Itchy or swollen lips
- Scratchiness on the roof of your mouth
If you notice any of these reactions be sure to let your doctor know and avoid the food. You can also avoid these foods as a precaution, as you may not be able to notice they are making your allergies worse.
Track Your Allergy Symptoms
A great way to track your symptoms is with a food allergy journal. You can buy a food tracking journal or make your own using your free food tracking printable.
Be sure to check the Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinic’s website to stay up-to-date on current pollen counts.
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