As we prepare for the colder months, those in Texas must prepare for the seasonal allergy change. We Texans deal with allergies all year round, and with how dry the climate becomes winter can be just as miserable. Our state is home to a variety of trees, many that still produce handfuls of pollen in the colder months. Winter allergies certainly increase the level of severity in individuals who suffer from allergies.
Cedar trees, such as the Ashe Juniper pollinate large amounts of pollen during the winter season. When this pollen is inhaled, it causes inflammation in the immune system. Juniper pollen is comprised of a protein that triggers the body to release antibodies to fight the threat. Allergic reactions then begin to take place, often resulting in unique, severe symptoms.
Common allergy reactions
Many people who have experienced this allergy claim it feels like they have a flu or fever. Do not fear; this mountain cedar allergy does not cause either of these illnesses. The lack of humidity in the air allows the dust to remain in the air for longer and the particles moving through nasal and throat passages can be more irritating.
Practices to Implement During this Allergy Season
Make sure you get tested for the specific allergy to understand what the next steps are. It is highly encouraged to limit exposure to the outdoors as much as possible. Keep your home clean regularly and stay on top of washing clothes and other fabrics, especially if worn outside. This will keep the dust from circling around and staying on your and home surfaces! If Juniper trees are in your yard or neighborhood, keep them trimmed or if necessary, cut them down. Consider purchasing an air purifier to put in rooms around the house to help clean the air and eliminate the dust particles.
Even certain foods can cause the allergic reaction to become worse and cause a dry, itchy mouth. This is called Oral Allergy Syndrome or OAS. If you are diagnosed with the Allergy, these are the foods to avoid.
While facing Texas’ brutal winter allergies, staying informed and well prepared are your best chances of staying healthy. By taking steps like getting allergy-tested, minimizing outdoor exposure, and maintaining a clean-living environment, and being mindful of specific trigger foods you can better manage the long dry winter.