Local doctors see uptick in Cedar Fever symptoms

It is the most wonderful time of the year for many, but for those who experience allergies, not so much.

"The worst is yet to come," said Dr. Doug Barstow with Allergy Partners.

Dr. Barstow says this is just the unfortunate beginning for all respiratory illnesses including the dreaded Cedar Fever.

"Cedar fever is a respiratory illness, and it can act a lot like other respiratory illnesses. It can give you nasal congestion, the runny nose, the sore throat and decreased energy. It can make you feel like you're sick," he said.

Dr. Barstow says January and February are the usual months for peak Cedar Fever, but doctors have started to see an uptick in those experiencing symptoms along with those experiencing flu, RSV and other respiratory illnesses.

"Here in Texas, we have all those winter viruses on top of Cedar Fever. As allergists, this tends to be our busiest time of year and all physicians in general are pretty busy. Also, general respiratory, general practitioners, pediatricians, family doctors, they tend to see an uptick in business in the colder months because people tend to congregate more in colder months and that helps viruses to spread more efficiently," he said.

Dr. Barstow says it is sometimes difficult to differentiate cedar fever from other illnesses, but says if you have allergies, you should be able to tell the difference.

"When you have the flu, a virus has actually infected you and your immune system is trying to fight that off and so it makes nasal congestion to try to trap the viruses, but with cedar fever and allergies, it might be a little bit itchier. You can get a little bit of elevated body temperature with cedar fever, which is why they call it cedar fever, but maybe not to the degree that you get with the flu," he said.

Dr. Barstow advises finding out what you're allergic to early, so you are able to treat it.

"Start with over-the-counter medicines, antihistamines and sprays, and they can be very helpful. They might only need to use them during certain times of year, but if you're not allergic to something in that time of year, and you're having respiratory symptoms, then yeah, maybe you treat it more like it's a cold or the flu," he said.