SAN ANTONIO -- Just the second day into the New Year, it was very busy at Dilley Allergy and Asthma Specialists.
However, it’s always bustling this time of the year as cedar season typically runs from mid-December to mid-February. Once again, people are flocking to allergists across San Antonio seeking help.
“Very busy. A lot of sick calls. In fact, some people are so sick, I can’t even do allergy testing on them,” Dr. Dennis Dilley said.
Twice in the last few days, the mountain cedar count was above 20,000. Monday, it was just under 7,000 which is still heavy.
“Usually once it gets over about 5,000 everyone is pretty miserable. And then what happens, it gets to 20,000 and then people start getting really sick,” Dr. Dilley said.
And at Dilley Allergy and Asthma Specialists, there’s no shortage of symptoms or patients.
“Runny nose, chest congestion, face feels like it is on fire,” said first-time patient William Schoelzel.
“I carry tissue, I have inhalers, I have allergy medicine, I have nasal sprays, I'm on two nasal sprays right now, I'm on Claritin every day,” said patient Natasha Durazo.
There are a lot of overlapping symptoms between a cold and allergies, but typically a cold will only last seven to ten days. Anything longer might be caused by cedar.
If you’re looking for relief, Dr. Dilley said there are options.
“Antihistamines are good. Just washing if you’ve been outside for a while, come in and bathe and just change clothes because you carry all that pollen on your clothing,” said Dr. Dilley. “Nasal saline spray or rinses of your nose will wash away the pollen and mucus. Lots of rest. Try to stay indoors if you’ve been outside for a few days.”
Unfortunately, for cedar sufferers, Dr. Dilley said the cedar count is going to remain high the next few weeks. He also said some people will remain sick through March even though the season ends around Valentine’s Day.