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'Cedar Fever' allergies have arrived early this year in North Texas

If you're sneezing constantly and want to scratch your eyes out, you can thank the various cedar pollen in the air

FORT WORTH, Texas — We've had a gorgeous last few days in North Texas, On Fort Worth's Trinity Trails Tuesday, the cyclists were out, the runners hit the pavement — heck, even the birds took a swim to soak up the sun.

But at the risk of sounding like a downer, being outside is probably contributing to how cruddy you're feeling, if you're one of the many unlucky allergy sufferers in North Texas.

"Just out of nowhere, here comes the sneezes," said Ted St. Clair, who was walking the trails Tuesday. "Almost uncontrollable for about 10 minutes."

"Misery!" echoed mom Destinee Bolton, laughing. "This time of year anyway."

Indeed, the stuff that causes our despised allergies has arrived.

"Every year at this time in the winter, it's cedar, mountain cedar, red cedar, juniper trees," said allergist Dr. James Haden. And Haden said they're here ahead of schedule.

"It’s a little bit earlier, getting worse earlier this year than it did last year," he said, explaining they usually don't show up until February.

And that beautiful, calm weather we're enjoying? That could be contributing to your pain, Haden said, since there hasn't been any rain to knock the pollen out of the air.

"It feels like the flu sometimes but you don’t have a fever," St. Clair described.

What if you're the kind of person who suffers from allergies but can't bear to stay inside? The doctor says you just have to make sure to find a way to get all that pollen off you once you go inside.

"You want to rinse out your hair because the pollen will stick to your hair," Haden said. "And when you come inside, change clothes. Leave your clothes in the garage or laundry room or somewhere that’s not the bedroom."

He added that pollen will live indoors for a long time.

"We take steamy baths at night, open up the airways," Bolton said of her routine with her 1-year-old son. "Clear off some of that pollen and dander." 

The doctor said not to wait until you feel sick to take your allergy medications; start early. And if you want to escape the cedar, you may want to plan a vacation outside of Texas-- because cedar season lasts into March.

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