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Friday, April 29, 2011

SEASONAL ALLERGIES

 


Or, "How I learned to stop worrying and love the outdoors"



DctrSpott
  
For me, it happens every year in northeastern Pennsylvania. March draws to a close, and the weather starts to warm up. Everything starts to thaw out, the sun comes out, everyone is wearing shorts. The biking and running population seems to explode. And I finally get to cast off my miserable, cold-to-the-bone attitude, and adopt a cheery, springtime persona. So Boltzmann and I, and whoever else has also contracted this spring fever, cancel classes, call off work, and try to absorb as much sunlight as possible.

And so it goes on for a week or three. Outside nearly everyday, several shades tanner, and generally in a cheery disposition. Cars and houses get their spring cleaning, winter bodies slim down towards summer ones, and life is generally improved. "Yeah, I guess living in Pennsylvania isn't that bad." I this Vitamin D induced high, I hardly notice or mind my slightly watery eyes. Or the occasional sneeze.

And then, out of NOWHERE, it hits. Suddenly, my nose is simultaneously a clogged airway AND an unstoppable torrent of mucus. I'm sneezing enough to propel a small waterbourne aircraft. Someone has decided to sandpaper the back of my throat in my sleep. I'm miserable again, and anyone else who shares my affliction knows why: seasonal allergies.

So, since I seem to forget each year, I'm sure you other victims could use a reminder too. Use these tips to stay sane during the spring pollen season:

  • Air conditioning is your friend. The filters in those buggahs will catch most of the pollen trying to get in your house or car. Even a filter or cloth over an open window will catch a lot of the pollen trying to get in.
  • Shower and change clothing often. This isn't always practical, but it does help.
  • Avoid going out on those dry, humid, windy days. These are the ideal conditions for pollen and allergens to spread.
  • For once, rainy days are actually a boon: the water washes a lot of the allergens off, and keeps it from floating and spreading through the air.
  • Dear lord, don't go out from 5am to 10am! Everything has just woken up and bloomed: pollen and allergens are at the highest, you'll be a goner if you go out there!
  • Mouth and nose coverings can look silly, but help a great deal. Try a bandana for something a little less silly than a face mask. Sunglasses with offer some protection for your eyes.
  • For medication, start early. Don't take allergy medication when you have symptoms: anticipate the weather, and start at least a week beforehand.
  • Similarly, some people swear by eating local honey. In theory, the honey is produced by bees from local plant life, and should have a small dose of the local allergens. Exposing yourself to the allergens early may act like a vaccination, and make your effects less severe later on.
  • If you can, try taking a vacation. Get out of areas with a high pollen count.

Any other tips? Share them in the comments!

2 comments:

BLOODHOUNDED said...

Tip #10 ~ Stay slightly intoxicated, you’ll still feel like crap but you won’t care as much, lol!
Actually, very good and practical advice. Thank you Doctor Spott……..

DctrSpott said...

That is the one I forgot to put in there, Bloodhounded... I find a nice beer or Rum and Coke takes the edge off, and maybe even alleviate some symptoms.

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