Cedar trees: pretty? Yes.
Annoying? Also, yes.
"During a cold snap, those brown cone-like structures snap open," said Dr. Goddy Corpuz, a Baylor Scott and White Pediatrician at the Cedar Park Clinic.
Fox 7 meteorologist Zack Shields pointed out Cedar levels on Thursday were worse than they have been since the mid ‘90s. The second-highest ever in Austin.
Dr. Corpuz says even some people who typically don't have problems with cedar are struggling with it this year.
"For the past week I've been seeing a lot more patients that are coming in with allergies and they're coming in with flu-like symptoms," Corpuz said.
Megan Chaison and her two kids Kayleigh and Braydon came in on Friday feeling pretty rough.
"Everybody's got the allergies which causes headache, nasty nose, sore throat. Just a general feeling of unwellness and it seems like we've all had it," Chaison said.
Dr. Corpuz told them it was allergies, cedar included. Like many people, they weren't sure what it was when they came in.
"The symptoms, you know they're very similar so it's very hard to tell whether or not you really have allergies or you have a viral something," she said.
Corpuz says Cedar Fever usually consists of a headache, watery eyes, sore throat, sinus pressure, cough -- but there's usually no actual fever with Cedar Fever.
"If you have a fever of 101 or higher, that normally coincides with a cold or the actual flu and other cold viruses and severe body aches and headache," he said.
Before going to see the doc, he says there are some things you can do at home.
- Closing windows and doors
- Taking a shower at the end of the day
- Changing your clothes and linens...especially pillowcases.
- Doing saline rinses like with a Neti Pot.
"I wouldn't do it with just regular tap water, it can be contaminated so I would do it with at least saline. We know it's clean. Especially if you have breaks in the skin inside your nasal passages you don't want to introduce different bacteria into that," Corpuz said.
Dr. Corpuz says many of the meds they used to prescribe are now available over the counter like Zyrtec, Allegra and Claritin.
And if those don't work, he suggests a nasal steroid spray like Flonase.
"When these don't help...that's when it's time to see the doctor," he said.