Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Timing is everything with allergies
…Time was, sickly and allergic people went to the desert to “take the air.” Now people in Phoenix are wheezing and carrying on with all the other locales. We can thank the people who wanted lawns and the trees they saw back east. Golf courses! It’s their fault.
…Even the little ones are affected, but out here they get allergy shots and can run out and play like normal youngsters. This is important because allergies can set off asthma in some kids.
…Yes, it’s the fault of the ‘rents. If both Mom and Dad suffer from allergies, as many as three out of four of their kids will, too.
…Pets can also set eyes to watering. Fifteen percent of Americans are allergic, 11 mill of those to cats. Even if you are not suffering now, you could develop an allergy at any time, experts say.
…Weirdly, studies show that babies and toddlers exposed to pets before age 2 usually do not have pet allergies later in life.
…Short course in minimizing the miz. Don’t let pets in the bedroom during the day or at night. Shut the door.
…Buy a HEPA filter.
…Remove carpets. Install wood or tile (or do what HA did—paint the concrete under the carpet. HA is not allergic, she just thought it looked bitchin’).
…Wash your hands after playing with the pet.
…Wash the pet a lot, too. If you are afraid of blood loss (that would be yours) from bathing your cat, here are towelettes for this purpose. Sadly, HA can report most cats have no use for those, either.
…Buy a hybrid pet. People swear labradoodles and peagles (or whatever they call pug/beagles) are great for allergic people. Not all allergists agree.
…Allergy shots are still the gold standard, although drops you put under your tongue are making their way from Europe.
…According to research from the National Jewish Medical and Research Center, allergies ebb and flow in sync with your Circadian rhythms.
…Chronopharmacology is a field governing how to match the taking of medicine to these cycles. Hay fever symptoms peak in early morning. Thus hay fever sufferers should take their medicine before going to bed.
…Asthma symptoms kick up around 4 a.m. Nearly three-quarters of asthmatics wake up at least once a week gasping. Inhaled steroids work best if taken the afternoon before, between, 3 and 5:30 p.m. Since most take several doses, research has not shown when to pace the others.
…Since the alternatives--not going outside, not smelling the roses in life, and especially stopping breathing-- are not attractive, it may be time to give some thought to your allergies and talk to the sawbones.