If you happen to live in Huntsville Alabama then there is no question what kind of allergies I am referring to, as it is the primary topic of conversation this time of year!

I have no data to support my next statement, but am going to go ahead and declare Huntsville Alabama the Pollen and Allergy Capital of the WORLD!  It has to be true.  The allergy problems here are seriously epic.  The pollen count yesterday was (according to one of my workout buddies) “at the highest level possible”.  Again, I’m not sure how that is even quantified or qualified, but I am taking it as FACT.

A few allergy truths that will make you want to live here:

My primary care physician says that every single person she sees is reacting to seasonal allergies whether we think we are or not.  Even if we think we feel fine, she says that our nasal passages are red and inflamed.  She told me that we are all so used to living with allergies that many of us don’t even realize that we don’t feel our best.  In other words…we think feeling like crap is normal!

Apparently it is also the reason that the Indians never settled in Huntsville.  When they came through, however many hundreds of years ago,  they declared it a “basin of death”.  We call this area the Tennessee Valley, and we are a small valley surrounded very closely by a few wee mountains…creating , I suppose, a pollen pile up!

It is commonly stated… “even if you don’t have allergy problems now, if you live here long enough then you will.”  Encouraging, I know.

Yesterday I heard someone blame her age as the reason for the newly developed allergy issues…

So basically there is a lot of:

sneezing,

wheezing,

nose running,

coughing,

croaky voices,

headaches,

fatigue,

malaise,

itchy eyes,

itchy skin,

itchy nose,

itchy face,

scratchy throat,

watery eyes,

sinus infections,

snoring husbands, sleepless wives (okay and vice versa),

and obviously irritability!

 

What there are NOT a lot of are SOLUTIONS!  But of course everyone has an opinion and we all have our theories for how to keep the junk at bay!!!!

 

So of course there are medications, and as mere citizens of the Pollen and Allergy Capital of the World (replay that in your head with an echo on the word World), we are all self professed experts on what to take, how to take it, and who to call when you’re really in dire straights.

 

So here is some of what I have heard that works, and what I do that “works” as a newbie in the Allergy Shuffle…grrrr

 

  1. Use a saline rinse for your nose twice a day for as long as you live here.  Really, that’s not a joke.  I know.  Brutal.  It truly helps though…in the evening it gets all the pollen and garbage out of your nose so you are not rolling around in it all night long.  I personally also do it in the morning after I run, again helping to rinse out everything I just breathed in through my nose.

 

  1. Wash your hair before bed…same reason.

     

  2. Wash your car often.

     

  3. Do not open all your windows for fresh air in the Spring.  See picture above of my screened in porch table one day after cleaning it (and my porch is mostly interior with only one wall of screens, and the other three walls are solid/interior).  We do not want all inside furniture pollinated!

     

  4. Eat a touch of local honey every day.  My friend Amy started doing this last year after suffering terrible allergy problems, and she hasn’t had the first symptom since.  Coincidence?  I don’t know, but I like honey!

     

  5. There is a TON of medication advice that involves varying symptoms, timing, and a host of other factors, but I can’t go into all of that.

     

  6. Move out of the Tennessee Valley forever if you just can’t take it any longer!

     

So, that’s that!  Good luck citizens of Huntsville, surrounding areas, and all the other people in similar over-pollinated places.