MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – A local allergist says because of the cold weather and strong winds the metro has recently had, cedar trees are producing a ton of pollen which is landing several people in a doctor’s office.
Dr. Gregory Metz with the Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinic, Inc. said the wintertime is normally a time for other parts of the country to reprieve, but for Texas and Oklahoma, the wintertime is one of the “biggest times for allergens.”
He said starting in December and rolling through February is a peak time for cedar pollen.
According to the Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinic, Inc.’s website, high levels of cedar, elm, and hickory are running rampant throughout the state.
Dr. Metz said if you’re allergic to cedar pollen, you’ll likely have a runny nose, constant sneezing, and itchy or watery eyes.
If it’s left untreated, Dr. Metz said you could fall into cedar fever which intensifies the symptoms and “they’re [allergens] just miserable with it.”
Over the last couple of weeks, Dr. Metz said he has been swamped with patients experiencing allergies from the increase in pollen.
Fortunately, cedar allergies are pretty easy to treat.
“You can stay indoors with the air conditioner, heat running. That way, it stays filtered. At the end of the day, we want people to be able to be active and not have to be stuck inside, so over-the-counter medications are helpful,” said Dr. Metz.
Those can include sinus washes, antihistamines and nasal sprays, according to Dr. Metz.
If you’re still suffering from allergies after that, Dr. Metz recommends scheduling an appointment with a board certified allergist to see what other treatments are available.
The good news is cedar pollen typically dies down in March.
However, red cedar can pop up and pollinate throughout the springtime.