AUSTIN (KXAN) – If you’re a cedar allergy sufferer but you’ve been sneezing the past three weeks, you might be wondering if the season has started early. The culprit is actually red berry juniper, which is a cousin to cedar.
Dr. Barstow with Allergy & Asthma Associates says cedar is an evergreen tree that is part of the juniper family.
“They’re both members of the same species. Either because the pollen is stronger or because there’s just so much more of it, the mountain cedar tends to cause more allergy problems than its cousin in the juniper family.”
Red berry juniper has actually dropped today and should be on its way off the pollen count.
Unfortunately, cedar season is right around the corner: it usually starts the week of Christmas, and this year is expected to be bad. Incidentally, if you are taking drops under your tongue to combat cedar allergies, allergists say you need to start those drops today, November 1st, so that you can fight the allergen effectively next month.
Last year had the second-highest cedar numbers on record, at 22,000 in late December. 32,000 is the highest total ever recorded in Central Texas, in the mid-1990s.