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Health Corner: Cedar Fever

by Dr. Georgeanne Freeman, the Downtown Doctor


Let’s talk about ‘Cedar Fever’, or seasonal allergies, during our @ 9 weeks between outbreaks. Last month brought suffering to many who have a history of seasonal allergies and even symptoms to those who are usually immune. I expect a similar pattern to hit late February based on weather. Allergies can cause any combination of red, itchy eyes, stuffy and runny nose, low grade fever, fatigue and cough (due to post nasal drip). It is important to have the right diagnosis as this drives the treatment plan. Allergies can mimic viral upper respiratory illness, bacterial bronchitis, others.


If you think you have allergies it is reasonable to start by ameliorating the symptoms. You can buy a decongestant (sudafed is still the gold standard) which will dry up any secretions. Also try and anti-histamine (the histamines are the little soldiers that attack when an allergen is detected by the body and cause inflammation) like zyrtec or benadryl (generally sedating), allegra or claritin (generally non sedating). Why one works for one person and not for another is a mystery! Good we have options. Netti pots work wonders for clearing out nasal inflammation (snot) clear up into the sinuses. Do use distilled water to avoid introducing tap water bacteria. Gargling with warm salt water is still the best treatment for a sore throat. Prescription nasal steroid sprays are miracles at decongesting the whole face; even better for eye symptoms than anti-histamine eye drops.


If your allergies are debilitating considering seeing an allergist. The gold standard is still homeopathic like injectable doses of what you are allergic to. More and more common is the equally effective sublingual drops. In Europe they have the drops exclusively and think we are barbaric for doing the injections; I might agree.


To your good health in late winter and on into spring!