What to Do at the First Signs of Cedar or Oak Fever:
1. Invest in a good air purifier especially for your sleeping area. It will take out a lot of the pollen that infiltrates into your home. The "white noise" sound of the machine also helps mask snoring and other breathing difficulties your partner may be having. We use an old noisy Holmes one with an easy-to-find HEPA filter (Target) and it really helps. We used to have a humifier to add the moisture to the air since it is not uncommon for humidities to drop to around 10%. That isn't very good if your sinuses are used to the 40-60% level. Since we have followed this regimen for many years now, we are able to dispense with the humidifier, as they can bean annoying maintenance item. Drinking water and avoiding alcohol, caffeine and sugar seems to have much the same effect.
2. Take a good OTC antihistamine like Claritin. I like the generic form, loratadine, which is fairly inexpensive. Take it daily for best results. See the label for specifics. It minimizes the watery eyes, itchy palate, and excess mucus flow through the nose, according to it's website. NasalCrom, another OTC, can be useful as a preventative, before you get exposed, according to the www.rxlist.com. Flonase is good if the pollens got ahead of you and are causing a lot of pain.
3. As soon as you get a headache from the cedar pollens, take your favorite anti-inflammatory medication, such as aspirin, Advil, Excedrin, Tylenol. It slows the pain without unduly dehydrating you and hopefully prevents the inflammation known as infection.
4. Stay indoors during the windy days when the wind is from the north.This cuts down on breathing the really high pollen levels and the driest air. Hopefully, you have the humidifier so that inside is now more humid than it is outside.
5. Limit your caffeine, alcohol, sugar intake, which is hard around the holidays and the Super Bowl. Drinking a lot of water to stay hydrated really helps and can counteract the times when you do partake, like parties. This is especially true if the prescription medications you are taking, like me, also dehydrate you. Ask your pharmacist if you are not sure.
6. I spray saline solution up my nose when I get the headaches or malaise. It safely hydrates the sinuses and washes out any pollens, including where it goes down the throat. You can experiment with brands, but my favorites are Ayr and Ocean Breeze brands. I find that they are the most effective and also the most expensive. The HEB or Target house brands are OK, too. If it seems too weird to spray stuff up your nose, it was to me, too. I got desperate and finally tried it. Now I do it regularly, as needed. Many people also learn to squirt a lot of warm saline solution into their sinuses when they are irritated to help heal it.
7. We snore. This is characterized by natural restrictions of the nasal passages, especially at night, when fleshy parts of the sinus relax and/or move. When thesetissues get irritated, they often expand, closing off the nasal passage, drying the sinuses out even more. We use nose strips nearly every night, but find it is even more important during the pollen season. My wife finds the entire above useful during the Oak pollen season, too. You often see these nose strips on football players during close ups during football games. Breathe Right is the originator of the strips, but you can now get less expensive generic strips at Target, H-E-B, and Wal-Mart.
My regimen includes keeping our bedroom air purifier serviced, wearing the nose strips nightly, taking ibuprofen and saline solution as needed, drinking extra water and taking loratidine daily. I stay inside during the heaviest north winds, but still get outside without too much trouble... I just drink extra water and clean out my nasal passages with the saline (salt) sprays when I get inside. Some also get the dustmasks if they must work outside during "pollen storms". This all works well for other major pollens, including Oak.