Cedar allergy, or cedar fever, is a form of seasonal allergic rhinitis that shares the usual hay fever symptoms. Some types of cedar trees produce especially prolific amounts of allergenic pollen; Japanese cedar, mountain cedar, and Eastern and Western redcedars actually belong to the juniper and cypress families but are commonly classed as cedars in the United States. Although most cedars pollinate and cause allergy symptoms in the spring, the mountain cedar of the south central U.S. states reproduces in the winter and may cause severe allergic rhinitis.
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Winter or spring symptoms in hay fever patients may be caused by cedar or another airborne tree pollen, which affects the mucous membranes of the body. Itchy, red, teary eyes may result, as well as inflammation of the eyelids. Eyelids may swell, and under-eye areas may darken.
These allergy symptoms are triggered by histamine, a substance produced in abnormal reaction to the ingestion of cedar pollen, the Cleveland Clinic reports. Tiny cedar pollen granules can travel through the breeze and stick to unprotected eyes, inducing further irritation. Because of this tree pollen’s long-distance mobility, cedar allergy symptoms can occur in areas outside the growing range.
Nasal symptoms and breathing problems constitute the most disturbing effects of allergic rhinitis. According to the Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Clinic of Georgetown, Texas, these effects create a domino effect, setting off other health problems that can combine to significantly disable patients.
A runny nose develops when hay fever histamine sends fluid into the mucous membranes. Excess mucus in the nasal passages can drain into the sinus cavities and the throat. Inflammation causes mucus to accumulate in and congest the airways, creating a stuffy nose. Sneezing may become forceful in an attempt to clear the nasal passages of mucus and cedar pollen.
Histamine-induced itching also affects the mouth and throat, states the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). People with allergic rhinitis may clear their throats frequently, irritating and inflaming the membranes. As the mucus from postnasal drip contacts this tissue, a sore throat and cough may develop.
Facial and Sleep Symptoms
The stress of coughing and sneezing plus the pressure from sinus inflammation can lead to facial tenderness accompanied by headaches. Some hay fever discomforts make sleep difficult, and the sneeze reflex, in particular, interrupts deep sleep. The UMMC states that fatigue and facial pain may arise from the combined stress of other cedar allergy symptoms.