Best/worst places for allergies
While it seems to be the standard for most doctors, etc., to say "there is no best place for allergies," personal experience and common sense simply dictate this really is not true. For example, every time I go from Minneapolis to Duluth (which is on the tip of Lake Superior and about 600-800 feet lower than the surrounding countryside), I feel MUCH better -- at any time of the "allergy season" (which in Minneapolis, is about March through October for me). My question is: does anyone know of places that are better or worse for pollen allergies? Ragweed is awful for me, trees bother me, and grasses are also bad. From what I've heard/seen, Texas is terrible, and much of the Midwest is bad. But as far as East Coast vs West Coast, etc., there seems to be conflicting views. Any and all input is greatly appreciated!! :-)
Well, I guess it depends on what you're allergic to. I live in the Minneapolis Metro area and I am allergic year round to something. I don't know what it is. I have traveled from the tip of South America to 400 miles above the Arctic Circle. Same problem everywhere. So I think you are asking a generic question to a specific problem. If you are allergic to Pollen from hardwoods - avoiding Hardwood Forests during spring would help.
Yeah, I tend to have trouble here year-round, but my problem in winter tends to be sinus problems from the cold, dry weather. This is only the third year I've lived in Minneapolis -- the first year, I was fine, last year was miserable, and this year, I have the worst allergies I've ever had or can imagine. I'm allergic to almost everything -- cigarette smoke is the worst (do you know of ANY non-smoking bars in the Twin Cities? It drives me crazy!! Duluth, at least, is going in the right direction now!), but any kind of pollens, molds, dogs, cats, etc. bother me. So.. basically.. if you can be allergic to it, I am. :-) I have lived in several places, and there's no question that some have been significantly better than others -- nowhere is perfect, but there is a huge difference between places I find.
Again, it depends on your allergy. I think you need some new meds. Try the Chlorotrimeton (brand name) it is an older drug that does work.
True, your type of allergies makes a big difference, although the data shows some cities (like Tulsa or Austin) are higher in almost every kind of pollen and mold when compared to others (Salt Lake City or San Diego).
I've tried Chlortrimeton in the past... like most, it helps a little bit, but not nearly enough. I've been prescribed Allegra and Claritin, again, very limited success. I've tried Flonase, Nasonex, and Rhinocort as nasal sprays -- I used to use Beconase AQ and the subsequent Vancanese that replaced Beconase, which were the only ones that worked pretty well, when it was still available (it has apparently been discontinued, the pharmacy doesn't have it and my doctor here in MN is not familar with it)
ogopogo...have you tried Zyrtec? I imagine you have but you didn't mention it. Just wanted to say, it's worked well for me for almost 2 years now. I have the same problem...allergies all year round, inside or out. I know it's dust, but I don't know what kind of pollen. I took Allegra & got the side effects, took Claritan and it stopped working after a short while. Oh..and it's supposed to be the 'cheap'est of those three. Thought I'd pass it on.
P.S. for anyone who sufferes from chronic sinus infections and is fed up with antibiotics... I just irrigated the heck out of my sinuses for the first time today and I can actually feel that cool, empty feeling in my maxillary sinus! You know, the opposite of that 'solid' feeling. If that makes sense. Anyway..was told how to do it by someone who's been clear of infection for two years. So I'll keep people posted on how it works for me, if anyone's interested. Feel free to email me to ask questions or just to rant!!
Natopheli, I too was told to try a sinus wash, but it sounds so yucky! You think it is really worth the effort? I have infections and my allergies cause my ears to be plugged up. THis is not a good thing when one is a scuba diver. I take Claritin-D in the am and Nasonex in the pm. Yesterday I couldn't equalize deeper than 15 feet. Not fun!! I may try the wash.
I've tried Zyrtec.. at first, it seemed to help, but I had terribly dry eyes and I was always tired. It does seem to work for many people though.
Years ago, when I apparently was terribly allergic to ragweed pollen, I mixed Aloe Vera with water (about 50/50 mixture) and it cleared up my nasal passages in a couple of days. It was close to being miraculous.
A co-worker told me about it. He said that a doctor recommended it for his wife who was having severe problems.
My allergies were so bad, in those days, during the summer months, that my nose continued to run like a faucet. I went through piles of Kleenex tissues. Then it got worse where my nose contantly started to bleed everytime I blew my nose. I was just getting ready to see a doctor, when my friend (and co-worker) told me about this natural remedy.
What a relief it was, when I started using that natural herbal treatment! I then told many of my neighbors and co-workers what had happened to me, and they reported back to me the same good results for themselves or family members that were also having these kind of problems.
The trick is to place it in your nostrils just before you go to sleep; just a few drops until you feel it trickling down the back of your throat. Sniff it in real deep, and resist blowing your nose. The best sleeping position would be to sleep on your back, at least for a little while, to make sure that the Aloe Vera solution circulates throughout the sinuses. Finally when you wake up, you should feel a lot better. This may not work for everyone, but I thought that I would pass this along for those that it might benefit.
By the way, I think the best place to live, is in an area that has little plant allergens, like maybe near the beach where the sea breezes blow everything inland. Or maybe a desert? Also I think, from my experience, everytime that I moved to a different location to find work, that it took a few years for me to get used to the allergens too. Sometimes, for those that move around from State to State it takes some patience. But, I know that it can be very frustrating. Best of luck.
Oh wow! I forgot I'd posted that! And I'm glad to see it was on the first day I tried irrigating! So now, nearly two months later I can say it is ABSOLUTELY worth the effort!! I haven't had any sign of infection that didn't go away after irrigating since the day I posted that! I didn't try it years ago because I thought it was too simple a solution for my huge problem. You name the allergy/sinus symptom, I had it. 24 hours a day. I was in constant pain and had just about rubbed the skin off my nose. I'll probably irrigate until I'm dead!! I'm a dancer so it's not good for me to have the sinuses/ears gunked up either. Kills balance. And do you know...I haven't trained hard since surgery(April 2000) but I've recently started back and I feel stronger now and more balanced than I ever have!
I hope it works for you! It's awfully cheap, too. Can't beat that!! :)
[This message has been edited by Natopheli (edited 10-17-2001).]
I actually have tried the irrigation.. I couldn't get it to work properly. It almost appears there's some kind of a blockage in my nasal passages preventing the water from passing through one side to the other. Any suggestions on what might cause this??
I have used Pe Min Kan Wan for 6 years and have had fantastic results. You take it 3 pills 3x a day and feel the effects in 3 days. I take about 4 weeks worth in March to prepare myself for the allergy season. Airbourne allergies are no longer a problem to me. I get these at Chinese herbal stores...there are different types. It is mostly herbal...some have trace amounts of 'Western' medicines. This is a grerat product for people with year round problems!
Ogopogo..yeah..polyps, deviated septum (which also causes the turbinate on the concave side to grow abnormally large. It's the red thing some people can see up their noses that 'switches' sides). All kinds of goodies can block you. Nothing I ever did made a dent until I got rid of them.
Oh yeah..and seeing as how it's been a month since that last post, how are you now??
Actually, if anything, I'm worse now with all the leaf mold here. Typically, you could expect snow by now here in Minnesota, this year, it's in the 70s -- everyone else likes it, my allergies want snow cover. :-)
I had a CT scan done this summer, and I don't have any polyps. Strangely enough, everything looks normal (well, this was in early July after 3 weeks of antibiotics.. the infection came back again this fall with the onset of mold allergies, and I'm on 3 weeks of antibiotics right now after going to a sinus specialist and seeing they're infected again). Is it possible it's the built-up mucus that's preventing me from irrigating my sinuses? Or perhaps.. I'm just not doing it right? :-)
Can you describe exactly what you do/use to irrigate? I dunno..maybe something will come to mind :) Have you tried looking into a fungal infection as the culprit? It doesn't neccesarily have to be a bacteria. It may be a vague connection I'm making in my head, but since you have such trouble with mold....
And you know what I've noticed today...I started having an all out allergy attack so I thought I'd irrigate to see if it would stop it. Well it did, but there was swelling from the allergy attack and I think that held in water so I felt a bit more stuffy until the Zyrtec kicked in (ran out for a few days, hence the allergy attack). So maybe that's why it doesn't feel like it's helping enough; because the swelling from allergies?
Lastly, I just re-read a post of yours at the beginning of this thread where you listed some meds you've tried. Have you tried Nasocort AQ? Oh..and do you think it would be worth trying maybe half a Zyrtec at a time instead of a whole one? My aunt has to do that and it works for her that way. Anyway..hope you get better soon!
Dont move to RIchmond VA if your looking to get away form allergies. We moved here from Florida and have never had allergies. My 5 yr old has barely had colds before and hes been on antibiotics for 8 months with one thing or another from all of this junk here. We finally figured out what kind of doctor to take him to and hes now on Rhinocort, Claritin AND Singulair. Im next to go to the allergist. My turn....
Natopheli -- as far as the irrigation, I have this "irrigator" that kind of looks like a flower watering pot if you ask me.. it's supposed to be designed for sinus irrigation. Basically, you pour it in one nostril and it's supposed to flow out the other.. it's the flowing out the other that won't work. It seems to get blocked before that. I've had a CT scan, and I don't have polyps or anything that abonormal other than a recurring sinusitis that will go away, but come back soon after. I haven't tried half of the Zyrtec.. one other thing that might help is taking it at night instead of the morning.. perhaps the drowsiness would wear off? Maybe wishful thinking, I don't know! I've tried Rhinocort AQ.. it didn't do much for me. When I was living in Colorado and Nebraska, Beconase (this was before Flonase, Rhinocort, Nasonex came out) basically cured my seasonal allergies. But here in the jungles of Minnesota (trees and weeds everywhere!), nothing has helped -- I even got a prescription for Beconase, even though it's the "last generation" of nasal sprays, just to see if it would help... it did nothing. I'm starting to realize for people with bad mold allergies, the West may be the place to be. Plus the smoke-free indoor air of California is big for me.. my worst allergy is cigarette smoke.
Turboboysmom.. have you figured out what he's allergic to? What differences do you notice in the terrain there from Florida, in terms of types of trees, weeds, etc? Also... just thinking here, but are you on a lot with a lot of trees? Our house in Minnesota is buried in trees.. not good for pollen or leaf mold at all. We need snow!! I mean, it's Thanksgiving in Minnesota, and we're walking around without jackets, unbelievable! :-) Good luck.. I know what that is like (being sick all the time), it's not fun.
[This message has been edited by ogopogo17 (edited 11-21-2001).]
I've been told that the drowsiness does wear off after a little while. I don't think I had a problem with that at first so I can't tell you any more than that!
As for trying to get the water to flow out the other side, it hasn't been a consideration for me at all. Most of it I spit out or it goes back out the same nostril. I know I've read things from other people saying that it works better for them if they don't worry about it going out the opposite nostril. You could try using a big spoon and just letting the water come out however? Just so long as it all comes out :) Let me know what's going on!
My 2 cents:
I've been using irrigation for a short time now. I got a set of instructions from my doctor on this technique.
1. Keep your head level (dont look up or down)
2. Use an ear syringe and warm salt water
(point the syringe straight in toward the back
of your head, not up toward the brain)
3. Hold your breath and slowly squeeze a syringe full
of saltwater into each nostril alternately.
It should pass through your nose and fall onto
the back of your tongue. (dont swallow saltwater)
4. Do one to two cups a day
(with practice youll be able to increase the force
and amount of water through your nose)
(also, I find this procedure alot easier to do in
the shower as opposed to over the sink)
The water is supposed to fall onto the pallete but I've found that most of it just comes back out or it passes out the other nostril.
I've just recently tried adjusting how I hold my breath and in doing so have been able to get the solution to properly pass through the sinus tract onto the pallete.
It takes practice, but, if you hold your breath in the exhale position and relax a little (kind of like when we sometimes forget to breathe when were concentrating,
your not inhaling or exhaling or holding your breath, your just "not" breathing)you can get "alot" of salt water to pass through your nose into the back of your mouth. The trick is to do this without letting it reach your windpipe. (kind of tricky) Thats where the breath holding technique comes in. It takes some practice but its been "well worth" the effort for me. I'm not an expert on the topic, just passing on what is working for me. Hope this helps.
(lots of good info on the web for "nasal irrigation")
Getting back to the original query posed about the best/worst places for allergies. It certainly would depend on what one is allergic to but.....
I find the greatest relief right on the ocean where clean air is blowing off the water. I believe that this has to be where the beach faces miles of open water without other land masses to send airborne particulates my way. (It helps that the place I stay in is not moldy).
I lived in Newfoundland for awhile, way up near the permafrost. Although the air was very dry, it was very clean. My allergies were nonexistant during my year long stay.
There are maps available that indicate where airborne allergens are most prevalent. You can search for these on the internet or ask your allergist.
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