IRVING--Did somebody you know cough and sniff his or her way through the day?
(If it sounds like I have personal knowledge of the issue, just watch the video. Yeah, that's my voice at the beginning. And my cough. And my sniffle.)
Yeah, a lot of folks sound, look, and feel* sick lately, but it's not a cold or the flu. It's allergies.
Who gets allergies in January? Texans do, thanks to trees.
Specifically, mountain cedar trees. Central Texas is full of them. This time of year, all of that pollen floats up our way.
The mountain cedar in the air jumped sharply last week. Rain brought us some relief, at least for now. In some parts of the state, the allergy symptoms are so common and so severe, they give it another name, "Cedar Fever."
It's not contagious, but if you get a severe case, you can feel like you've got a really bad cold.
But you might just need to go to medicine cabinet instead of the doctor.
"Mucinex D helps dry up your sinus. Mucinex DM helps loosen up the mucus in your throat," said Valerie Trang at Pharmacy Toi in Irving. "But the Zyrtec, generic cetirizine, always works for me."
If nothing works or if the symptoms last more than a few days, check in with your doctor. You might have developed some kind of infection on top of your allergies. (I got that great news Monday morning. Four prescriptions later, at least my throat is no longer sore, but I still had to work.)
Beyond that, we just gotta wait for the air to clear.
Of course, by then it might be time for flowers to start making pollen.