Let’s talk environmental allergies or what I call yellow season. Where this Allergic Traveler lives (North Carolina), springtime is the worst! From March until May, everything is blooming and beautiful. However, this does nothing for my environmental allergies. I call it yellow season as the streets are yellow, the cars are yellow, the outdoor furniture is yellow… you get the point. Everything is covered in pollen. It was especially hard for me to handle the weather as I moved here in my thirties from Montreal, Canada. There the spring is so short, there is no time to have a reaction! Whereas here, you wake up with a runny nose, you can’t breathe and you think your head might actually explode from all the pressure. You want to cry but crying actually makes your sinuses hurt more. Trust me I know! So I did what everyone does here, I went to the allergist (whom will never be unemployed in this state!). They tried various combinations of medicine.
Since I have been in the Carolinas, for just more than eight years, I have tried everything to win the battle against pollen. Here is a list of the various things I have tried:
- Day time anti-histamine
- Night time anti-histamine
- Day time and night time anti-histamine together (which you are NOT supposed to do)
- Nose spray
- Netti pot
- Local honey (known to help with local pollens)
- Cold eye compresses
- Wearing a mask outdoors
- Eye drops
- Eliminating foods from my diet (certain foods have high histamines, for instance tomatoes)
- Allergy shots
- Eliminating wine (full of histamines)
- Traveling to other regions to avoid local pollen
What worked, you asked?
And you know what? Nothing worked! Every year, I would dread March. This year, I decided I would cave and try acupuncture. My brother-in-law has been doing it for years and has tried to get me to. I will admit, I was afraid. Who wants to put a bunch of needles in them? The whole idea terrified me. A friend of mine, owns a wellness clinic (A to Zen Massage) and told me she was going to bring on an acupuncturist. As I wanted to show my support, I put my big girl pants on and went to see Ashley, the acupuncturist. And guess what? Nirvana! It worked! No more pain, no more itchy eyes, and no more breathing trouble! Also no more meds, which means no more side effects either. Add to that, I slept like a baby that night. I am mad at myself for not trying this sooner. Now I can play outside with the kids, exercise and even do gardening! If you have not tried it, you should. Take it from me, don’t be a chicken like I was!
I would recommend seeing a specialist. Ask to see their credentials. Acupuncture has been around for more than 2,500 years. You can barely feel a thing while getting the treatment done. I did not know that it can help with more than just allergies. It can also tackle muscle pains, neck pains, insomnia, digestive issues and more. Today, I am bringing my husband to help with his muscle pains. If you are local to Greensboro, go see my new found friend, Ashley Taylor, the greatest acupuncturist ever!
Author: Tarah Jakubiak
After working for 20 years in the corporate world, Tarah Jakubiak founded Allergic Traveler. Jakubiak, president of Allergic Traveler has traveled the world since the age of two. She has been to 24 countries and 26 states. Jakubiak has been to all inclusives, gone on cruises, gone camping; backpacking through Europe, gone to the big cities, and little hidden gems. She has multiple food allergies but it does not stop her from seeing the world. Jakubiak is allergic to eggs, nuts, mushroom, soy, garlic, corn, sesame, potatoes, celery, shellfish, chicken, pork, peanuts, and many fruits. She is originally from Montreal, Quebec and now lives in Greensboro, NC with her husband.