Mountain cedar season expected to start next week

Traditional start to mountain cedar season is mere days away


SAN ANTONIO – It may be a rainy week in San Antonio, but allergists are advising people to get out and enjoy the wet weather while you can, especially if you are one of the thousands of mountain cedar pollen allergy sufferers.

Pharmacist Stu Walker says people have been picking up their prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, getting prepared for what may be a pollen-laden winter.  

Several factors, such as time of year, temperature, wind direction and strength, and more will, determine how devastating the spread of the pollen will be.

Walker, who has been dispensing medications for 44 years said, "The older I've gotten, the worse I suffer."  

He advises patients to begin their preparations now by starting their allergy meds right away.    

"I think they should have started taking it already on a daily basis, and continue through cedar season, on through oak."  

Allergist Dr. Paul Ratner keeps track of pollen counts in San Antonio and is tracking the season to start next week. 

"When we go back over 30 years of pollen counts, the earliest we have ever had a season is Dec. 12, which is tomorrow, but the latest is Dec. 29," said Ratner.

He says there was a strong mountain cedar count a few weeks ago in what he called "a false start," which is common. Ratner says the real thing begins when there is a pollen count of 50 or higher for three straight days.

Ratner's prediction for a robust season comes from the great deal of rain the area has received this year.  

"We have had a lot of rain this fall, a lot of moisture. We are out of the drought that we've been in for the last few years. The trees are starting to turn orange and we've had a couple of north fronts already, so I expect it's close," he said.