Mountain Cedar Information: Is Mountain Cedar Pollen Causing You Problems


By: Teo Spengler

Mountain cedar is a tree with a common name full ofcontradictions. The tree is not a cedarat all, and its native range is central Texas, not known for its mountains.What is mountain cedar? In fact, trees called mountain cedar are actually ashejuniper trees. For more mountain cedar information, including facts aboutmountain cedar pollen and allergies, read on.

What is Mountain Cedar?

Juniperus asheihas many common names. It is called ashe juniper and mountain cedar, but alsorock cedar, Mexican juniper and Texas cedar.

This native junipertree is an evergreen and is not very tall. It can present as a largeshrub or a small tree, rarely exceeding 25 feet (7.5 m.) tall. Its primaryhabitat is central Texas but it also grows in the wild in Oklahoma, Arkansas,Missouri and northern Mexico.

Mountain Cedar Information

The ashe juniper trees have rounded crowns as they mature.The trunks of these trees often branch from the base, and the dark barkexfoliates in strips. The leaves on these trees look like scales. However, theyare green during the growing season and hold onto the color through winter.

Some ashe juniper trees are male and others are femaleplants. The male trees bear mountain cedar pollen cones at the tips of thebranches. Fruiting cones that look like berries appear on female trees. Theyprovide food for wildlife.

Mountain Cedar Allergies

The male pollen appears in tiny amber cones, about the sizeof rice grains. But there are many of them, covering the tops of the trees. Ina rainy year, the trees produce tons of pollen. The cones begin to appear inDecember. In a short time, any breath of wind causes clouds of pollen near the trees.

Mountain cedar pollen causes an unpleasant allergic reactionin some people. Some call it “cedar fever.” It can be an annoyance and evendreadful, causing red eyes, a runny nose, itchy ears incessant sneezing and asort of fatigue that prevents the sufferer from having any energy.

Those who suffer from mountain cedar allergies often end upvisiting a doctor specializing in allergies. Shots are available that helpabout three-quarters of sufferers. But whether or not they are cured, thesepeople are not likely to start growing mountain cedar trees of their own.

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Allergies and dizziness: What's the link?

An allergy is the immune system’s reaction to a foreign substance, or allergen, in the body. Typical symptoms of seasonal and environmental allergies include a runny nose, sneezing, sinus congestion, and itchy eyes.

A less common symptom of allergies is vertigo, which is a severe form of dizziness. A person may experience this symptom during the allergy season.

In this article, we explore the link between allergies, dizziness, and vertigo. We also discuss treatment and medication options, as well as some self-care tips.

Vertigo is a type of dizziness that usually causes people to feel as though the world is spinning.

The Vestibular Disorders Association define dizziness, vertigo, and disequilibrium as follows:

TermDefinition
DizzinessThis occurs when a person feels light-headed, faint, or unsteady.
VertigoThis occurs when a person feels as though they are spinning, or that the environment around them is spinning.
DisequilibriumThis occurs when a person feels unsteady or imbalanced with an inability to determine their location and motion relative to the environment.

Dizziness is associated with other conditions, such as heart, blood vessel, brain, metabolic, vision, and psychological problems.

Vertigo is associated with a dysfunction in the structures of the ear or brain that control balance. It can last from a few seconds to a few days.

Many conditions can give rise to vertigo, including inner ear disease and Ménière’s disease.

A less common cause of vertigo is allergies. Allergies can be either seasonal or occur all year round.

One particular way that allergies may cause dizziness, vertigo, or both is via eustachian tube dysfunction. The eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the inside of the nose and the back of the throat. Since these structures are all connected, severe allergy symptoms can affect the ears through increased mucus production and nasal congestion.

The functions of the ears are hearing and balance. When the eustachian tube cannot regulate the pressure in the middle ear, it can also affect the vestibular system. This controls balance and is located in the inner ear.

Chronic middle ear conditions can also cause vertigo. People with infections or inflammation in the middle ear can experience vertigo and balance disorders. Some researchers suggest that allergies can cause middle ear inflammation.

If a person is experiencing vertigo and other allergy symptoms, a doctor can try treating the allergy symptoms, which may, in turn, resolve the vertigo.

A case report from Kyoto, Japan showed the effectiveness of allergy medication in a woman with chronic vertigo and allergy symptoms who had not responded to usual vertigo treatment and medications.

However, further research will be necessary to confirm these findings.

Medications

The sections below list some medications that may be effective in treating allergies and vertigo.

Nasal steroids and antihistamines

Doctors and pharmacists recommend nasal steroids and topical or oral antihistamine drugs as first-line medications to treat seasonal allergy symptoms.

Other oral treatments

  • leukotriene receptor antagonists
  • sublingual immunotherapy
  • oral corticosteroids (in severe cases)

Sometimes, depending on the severity of a person’s allergy symptoms and their response to other allergy treatments, a doctor will recommend immunotherapy, or “allergy shots.”

Oral decongestants

People should only use oral decongestants for allergy symptoms if they experience sinus or nasal congestion.

Because these medications have many side effects, including increased blood pressure, it is vital that people consult with their doctor before taking them.

Decongestant nasal sprays are also available to help relieve sinus congestion. People should not use these products for more than 3 consecutive days, however, as this can lead to dependence and rebound congestion after use.

Antivertigo drugs

  • antihistamines, such as meclizine (Bonine)
  • benzodiazepines
  • antiemetics, such as dimenhydrinate (Dramamine)


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Where do ticks typically hide?

It may seem as though ticks drop down from tree branches, because they're often found hidden in hair. However, they actually start closer to the ground. Favorite hiding spots include naturalized or unmown areas with weeds and tall grasses (such as tall fescue), especially when they're humid and shady. When lawns are nearby, ticks move into mowed areas, too. However, more than 80 percent stay in the lawn's outer 9 feet. Low-lying ground covers and low-hanging shrubs in gardens or foundation plantings are also prime spots for ticks.

Ticks typically move onto humans or animals that brush against grasses or weeds when passing by. Then ticks climb upward and find a spot to bite and feed. An estimated 75 percent of tick bites occur from ticks picked up during normal home activities such as gardening, backyard play or entertaining. 1


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