Stop sniffling with this doctor’s tips for surviving allergy season

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Most Austinites are feeling the effects of the cedar and pollen floating around in the air. In the last few days the cedar count has doubled.

Dr. Douglas Barstow joined us in the KXAN studio to discuss the allergy outlook and give you advice on surviving allergy season.

“You can develop a cedar allergy over time, no one is born with allergies,” said Dr. Barstow.

The past couple of seasons have been big for cedar pollen. Dr. Barstow said this is probably due to the months of heavy rain.

The wetter than normal days could be accounting for why you’ve been feeling under the weather. However, Dr. Barstow said it is important to decipher if you have a cold or allergies when determining your treatment. A clue that you have a cold is if you are running a fever. If you are not running a fever and your sniffly symptoms persist more than a few weeks you could be suffering from cedar allergies, which is known as cedar fever.

While it is too late for allergy shots or drops to benefit you this year, Dr. Barstow said there are over-the-counter options. He does recommend getting a jump start on preventing allergies next year with an allergy shot.

Over-the-counter relief includes antihistamines and decongestants. Depending on the symptoms plaguing you, try these medicinal options for some relief. Antihistamines assist your immune system, but side effects do include drowsiness so be sure you rest and don’t try to operate any fork lifts. Decongestants come in a variety of forms and can alleviate some of that annoying dripping from your nose. It is important to remember to only take these medicines for a couple of days at a time to keep from increasing side effects, according to WebMD.

When determining if allergy drops or shots are right for you, Dr. Barstow said it depends on how many pollens you are allergic to. If you are allergic to several things at the same time allergy drops become ineffective. Allergy shots are best suited for people who suffer from a slew of allergies each year.

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