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Do you have allergies?

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Do you have allergies?

Postby knapplc » Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:35 am

I am getting absolutely hammered by allergies this year, and it sucks. I feel like I have a bad cold, and that's only because I'm on big-time drugs. I can only imagine what it would be like if I wasn’t taking anything. My daughter is full of snoogies and boogies, and she’s just three years old.

Are you guys suffering, too?


Soaring Pollen Counts Spur Worst Allergy Season in Years

THURSDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- April showers bring May flowers, but this year they've also brought a bumper crop of grass, ragweed and early-budding trees that means misery to millions of allergic Americans.

Experts across the country say they are recording the highest pollen counts they've seen in a decade. And while the Southeast usually gets slammed the hardest when it comes to airborne allergens, this season it may be Yankees who are suffering the most.

"I looked at the total pollen counts for this season compared to last, and, at this point, we have already reached 80-90 percent of what we saw for the entire season last year," said Albany, N.Y.-based allergy specialist Dr. David Shulan, a spokesman for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI).

The culprit: a mild, wet winter and early spring, plus unusually warm days.

"We have seen an early and aggressive allergy season, including seasonal pollens and mold spores," said Dr. Clifford Bassett, a Long Island-based allergist and vice-chairman of AAAAI's Public Education Committee.

Shulan agreed. "The buds have been ready to burst, and when we have these warm days, the pollen counts have been just wild," he said.

According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, which estimates that 50 million Americans are impacted by allergies, the top 10 worst cities to be in right now, in terms of airborne allergens, are:

Hartford, Conn.
Greenville, S.C.
Boston
Detroit
Orlando, Fla.
Knoxville, Tenn.
Omaha, Neb.
Sacramento, Calif.
Washington, D.C.
Baltimore

There are steps the allergic can take to minimize the sneezing, wheezing and itchy eyes that plague them this season. One is obvious: Avoid the great outdoors. That doesn't mean sealing yourself indoors 24/7, experts said, but some common-sense tips might help.

"First off, get someone else to help you with yard chores -- find someone in the family who's not allergic to do the mowing, for example," said Dr. Sandra McMahan, a senior staff physician specializing in pediatric allergy at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas.

Pollen counts are always highest in the morning, so try and plan outdoor activities for the afternoon or evening whenever possible. Rain tends to drive allergens out of the air, so planning activities for just after a good rain makes sense, too. "The patient will frequently feel better for a day or so after a rainstorm, because there's less pollen blowing around," said McMahan, who is also an assistant professor of internal medicine at the Texas A & M Health Science Center College of Medicine.

All the experts stressed that keeping windows closed and using air conditioning -- even when the weather is pleasant outside -- can cut the misery for allergic individuals while they're at home.

But what about that perennial springtime passion, gardening? Bassett said green-thumbed Americans can still enjoy their hobby, despite allergies, as long as they follow a few simple steps.

First off, he said, wear gloves and a pollen mask while outside, and work on relatively humid, windless days. Keep soils moist and gardens free of flowering weeds. Shower and shampoo after you come back inside. Rinse off glasses after gardening and keep gardening clothing away from the bedroom.

Bassett also advised against planting the following high-allergen species: amaranthus, crocus, elderberry, juniper, peony, poppy and privet. Some low-allergen alternatives include azalea, begonia, bougainvillea, daisy, dahlia, gladiola, iris, irish moss, marigold, orchids, snapdragon, sunflowers, tulips, violets and zinnias.

And don't forget the secret sex lives of plants: "Planting female trees in one's own yard will attract and then trap incoming airborne pollen from male plants," Bassett warned.

The experts also advised that people back up all of these tips with medication.

"Medications are much better now than they were in the past," McMahan said. "We have the nonsedating antihistamines, which are very helpful and much safer to use. One -- loratadine, generic Claritin -- is now available over-the-counter." There's also an antihistamine nasal spray, Astelin, available by prescription, he added

Besides these, there are what Shulan called the "heavy hitters" -- nasal steroids such as Flonase (now available in a cheaper generic form) as well as Rhinocort, Nasacort and Nasonex.

"Remember though, these drugs take time to start working -- it make take up to two weeks for them to take full effect, although you'll notice some relief in a day or two," Shulan said. "With the nasal steroids, you have to use them regularly throughout the season," he added

So, with proper planning and the right pharmaceuticals, most Americans should be able to cope with even this year's tough allergy season.

But they may have to be patient.

"Here in Albany, the trees start acting up from late March going into June, then the grass takes over in late May, peaking in June and early July," Shulan said. "That should go right through summer till it tapers off sometime in September."
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Postby Omaha Red Sox » Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:38 am

8-o Wow.

I'll have to show that to my wife. She has some allergy issues. I never used to have a problem at all, till a couple years ago. I thought it was a sinus infection that never went away or something, but I think it's allergies. Nothing too bad, no medicine needed, but I can hock one helluva loogey whenever I want.
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Postby dream_017 » Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:38 am

According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, which estimates that 50 million Americans are impacted by allergies, the top 10 worst cities to be in right now, in terms of airborne allergens, are:

Hartford, Conn.
Greenville, S.C.
Boston
Detroit
Orlando, Fla.
Knoxville, Tenn.
Omaha, Neb.
Sacramento, Calif.
Washington, D.C.
Baltimore


Yep, I am having a tough go, so far this year, too

You should see me after I cut the grass :*) :-t
Last edited by dream_017 on Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mutantseabass » Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:39 am

And again Detroit makes it into the top 10 of places you dont want to be :-#

The only thing im allergic to that i know of is Cats.
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Postby moonhead » Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:40 am

i'm usually pretty stuffed up year round. but i used to really suffer during the summer. i would develop bulbs on the inside of my eyelids. and they would drag my contacts around. made my eyes itch and burn and i'd have to take my contacts out. was really a pain in the ass in golf tournaments. one time it happened to me at the turn. i turned in one over par and then i had to take my contacts out. i didn't have glasses with me. it sucked. i shot like 46 on the back nine. allergies :-t
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Postby knapplc » Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:51 am

What I think is really weird is that I never had allergies until I started drinking wine. Wine is full of histamines. Once I started drinking wine, all the summer allergens started getting me. Now I can’t drink a glass of wine without my nose completely shutting down.
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Postby flotsamnjetsam » Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:14 am

knapplc wrote:What I think is really weird is that I never had allergies until I started drinking wine. Wine is full of histamines. Once I started drinking wine, all the summer allergens started getting me. Now I can’t drink a glass of wine without my nose completely shutting down.


Maybe you're allergic to something in the wine. :-?

I have no allergies that I know of. ;-D
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Postby mutantseabass » Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:16 am

knapplc wrote:What I think is really weird is that I never had allergies until I started drinking wine. Wine is full of histamines. Once I started drinking wine, all the summer allergens started getting me. Now I can’t drink a glass of wine without my nose completely shutting down.


A friend of mine never had allergies until recently and hes my age(36), His is so bad that he cannot even cut his own grass anymore. His doctor told him that many people dont develop allergies until they are in their 30s. Im not too sure how old you are but that may play in effect for you.
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Postby SeaWolf » Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:17 am

Gotta love this time of year with hay fever? :-P
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Postby knapplc » Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:37 am

mutantseabass wrote:
knapplc wrote:What I think is really weird is that I never had allergies until I started drinking wine. Wine is full of histamines. Once I started drinking wine, all the summer allergens started getting me. Now I can’t drink a glass of wine without my nose completely shutting down.


A friend of mine never had allergies until recently and hes my age(36), His is so bad that he cannot even cut his own grass anymore. His doctor told him that many people dont develop allergies until they are in their 30s. Im not too sure how old you are but that may play in effect for you.


35. That sucks. I hope they go away. Now I'm feeling nauseous because of all the drainage from my sinuses.

Blech. :-P
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