My Eyes! My Eyes! (Sniff-Sniff)
Dr. Kangos' Blogs from 2012
Cedar season is here, once again. Swollen, itchy, runny eyes are common nowadays. Sore throat and feeling achy and tired go along with all the immune stimulation from this central Texas pollen.
Juniper (cedar) are widespread across the rocky central Texas area and can crowd out other more desirable trees and vegetation in the competition for water. The male plant will release a cloud of reddish pollen when agitated.
It is a relatively large pollen, high in carbohydrate and low in protein, which causes so much irritation primarily of the upper airway. Mold is also high right now and is responsible for both upper airway symptoms as well as wheezing and asthma.
The single best common sense approach is to thoroughly wash your face, particularly around the eyes and nose with soap and cold water for relief. Wearing a mask makes a difference when going outside. Pollen counts vary throughout the day based on wind, temperature and humidity but generally are higher in the morning. The season peaks in January every year.
Neilmed is a brand of nasal wash that works well in children and is available in all drugstores. Sterile saline (salt water) should only be used to avoid introduction of any infection from tap water. The pressure required for the flush can introduce bacteria/parasites deeper into the nasal cavities. OTC antihistamines can be used at bedtime and during the day if the symptoms are especially severe.
Prescription nasal steroids are very effective. They help nose, throat and eye symptoms and even cough. They are comparable in effectiveness to each other. They can vary widely in cost depending on insurance tier pricing.