Cedar Fever Is Coming To Town

Comments Off on Cedar Fever Is Coming To Town Written on October 10th, 2014 by
Categories: Allergies, Allergist, Allergy Advice, Allergy Shots, Pollen in Arizona
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“Cedar Fever” is a term given to allergies associated with cypress and juniper tree pollen. The scientific family name for these trees is “cypressaceae”. Although these allergies are typically thought of affecting people in Austin Texas and Santa Fe New Mexico, many people are affected each winter in Arizona as well. The common symptoms of Cedar Fever include: sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, throat drainage, and itchy, red, watering eyes. Other symptoms, which are easily overlooked, are achiness, fatigue and low grade fevers, hence the name “cedar fever”. Oftentimes these symptoms are attributed to the common flu. Allergies to this type of tree pollen can also trigger asthma.

 

In Arizona there are many trees which are “anemophilous” or wind born pollinators. The dry warm climate and wind allow these trees to reproduce. Juniper and cypress trees are evergreen trees and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be short or tall and resemble a bush more than a tree.  The easiest way to distinguish between cypress and juniper trees is to look at their cones.  The cypress trees have large round cones, while the juniper tree has “juniper berries”. These trees are not as prevalent down here in the valley; however, as you travel further north, higher altitudes support the growth of pine trees and juniper trees, also referred to as Pinyon-Juniper Woodland. These plants produce pollen that can be carried 40,000 feet up into the atmosphere and can be transferred fifty miles from the source.  Typically the valley’s highest pollination season is in winter, or early December through February.

 

In summary, if each winter you feel like you have recurrent sinus infections, a cold, lasting flu, or asthma, your symptoms may just be from the native plants of Arizona.   The next time you hear residents of Texas and New Mexico complaining of “cedar fever”, let them know that they are not the only ones who can lay claim to the allergies associated with Cedar Fever.

 

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