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Environment

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, Unless You’re Plagued By Allergies

cedar_tree.jpg
Flickr - salaamministries.com
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If it's getting close to Christmas, it's also getting nearer to the year's worst allergy season for San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country.

Copious amounts of cedar pollen are expected to blow in on the first cold front, draping yellow blankets of the dusty stuff on cars and other surfaces.

A check of pollen counts on the website of the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology showed very little concentration of tree pollens in San Antonio Monday. But look just north to Austin, and the pollen count needle was pegged all the way to “very high.”

UT Health Science professor Dr. Jesus Guajardo said that’s a clue that San Antonio residents will soon be reporting allergy symptoms.

He advised allergy sufferers to avoid outdoor exposure as much as possible.

“It’s going to get everywhere, in your clothes and in your hair. So if you have a home with an (attached) garage, just go to the garage and from there, get into the car. Keep the windows closed until you get to work,” he said. "And then after you drive back home, again with the windows closed, throw your clothes into the washer and take a shower to remove the cedar pollen from the skin and hair."

Guajardo also said cedar pollen enters the home on the fur of our pets. 

"If you have animals - pets like cats and dogs outside - and they come in and out all the time, those pets will bring the pollen inside your home. And many times you will be sleeping with your dog or cat and that will get your symptoms going," he said. 

If symptoms are bad, Guajardo said allergy sufferers might try one of the new nasal filters on the market.

“They are similar to hearing aids. They tuck inside the nostril and you cannot see them very much. They block a good percentage of the pollen coming in,” he said.

Guajardo estimates 30 to 40 percent of San Antonio residents will suffer from cedar allergies, and at some point, many of them will need medical treatment. 

The link below shows clouds of cedar pollen being blown from trees in Helotes in a video shot by Mark Langford on 12/27/14.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvTDMRKPVAk