“Everything is big in Texas,” is a quote I have heard often, and apparently that includes the allergies. Before my trip, I wish I had known that Dallas was the “allergy capital of the world.” Caused by pollen from the Ashe Juniper trees (nicknamed “mountain cedar”), cedar fever is a local allergy caused by the “monster of all pollens,” as one medical website called it. It is considered an allergy even more severe than hay fever and cedar fever season is from the end of December to the beginning of March. Last year Dallas had the highest pollen count in recorded history with expectations for an even worse 2018. The week I happened to visit was when the pollen count had reached record levels.
I did not know any of this until the very last night in Texas. I tried everything from Sudafed to Mucinex and Allegra. I usually don’t resort to medicine, but I needed relief and could not find it. I later found out that the only symptom relief that partially works comes from Allergena Ceder Fever drops found at local stores, all sold out of course. I don’t usually suffer from allergies so at first I had just assumed that my cold returned with a vengeance.
Day one was mostly fine, with only minor sniffling and a moderate collection of used tissues. By the next day, my nose was a runny mess, my eyes were bloodshot, and my throat felt very tight. I went through numerous packages of tissues and had to blow my nose every 5-10 minutes. Going to sleep was very difficult. Cedar Fever can either hit you immediately or you can enjoy the “Texas honeymoon,” the two-three year allergy-free period many newcomers experience before their allergies take hold. It is a good thing I am not planning a move to Texas.
If you are traveling at the very end or beginning of the year, there are a few things you can do to make sure you have a healthier experience than I did. Start treating for allergies two weeks before your visit to prevent a severe reaction. At the first sign of sneezing, itchy eyes, or a runny nose, run out to the local pharmacy for Allergena Cedar Fever drops. Other allergy medications just aren’t going to cut it. Make sure you have soft tissues and Vaseline to prevent nosebleeds and cough drops to soothe your dry throat. To soothe uncomfortable symptoms, take long hot baths with pollen-purifying pink Himalayan bath salts and drink plenty of water and warm tea. Drinking a lot of fluids can help flush the pollen from your system. Unfortunately, the only “cure” is to get as far from the pollen as possible; sorry Texas.
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