Lessons Learned From a Brutal Allergy Season

I’m alive! (Though my neglected blog might say otherwise . . .) I’ve just been through a brutal allergy season, but I’ve learned some important lessons from it, and I’d like to share them.

I’ve dealt with seasonal allergies for a long time. In the past few years, they’ve gotten worse. Late summer (ragweed and chenopods) is a horrible time of year for me. A time when we’re suddenly convinced that I’ve become allergic to cats, dogs, and literally everything else.

This year, however, we finally got some answers. Last summer, we realized that the reactions I seemed to be having to the cats were not because of them – it was because of the pollen they picked up outdoors and brought inside. This year, our deduction went a little further.

We brought home two small goats (mainly for my cousin) and I spent time interacting with them that evening. That night, I had a full-blown, long allergy attack, resembling, in some ways, anaphylaxis. (It was NOT anaphylaxis. The coughing/congestion was just similar. I know the difference.)

When I had a less severe reaction two nights later, after possible exposure to airborne wheat, we realized what was most likely going on. My immune system was over-reacting due to it being compromised by the environmental allergies. And the goats certainly had been around wheat grain before coming to us.

I’m not prone to airborne anaphylaxis. But during the allergy season, it seems that I am at a much greater risk of reacting to slight exposure.

Let’s talk about the beach. 😍

So, last week, I spent a couple days with my cousins at the ocean. I was super nervous about it because of the problems I was having at night. But not only did that night go reasonably well, I had no sinus problems in the morning (which is the worst time of day for me). And for the two almost full days I was there, I had no allergies.

I can’t speak to the medical/scientific aspect of this, but there is something in the salt-filled air of the coastline (at least in New England 😋) that gave me a complete break from allergies and gave my immune system a chance to heal.

Environmental allergy-sufferers know the struggle that comes around every year. (I’m SO grateful I don’t have springtime allergies.) But in my case, my severe food allergies are made more of a problem during that time of year. Just like you don’t want to deal with a reaction at the same time you’re dealing with an illness, you don’t want a reaction when your immune system is on edge with other allergies.

All the same, we learned some very important lessons about managing my allergies this year. As the brutal season winds down, I’m grateful for that.

Do you deal with seasonal allergies? Have you had any of these experiences yourself? How do you find you best manage environmental allergies? Let’s chat in the comments! (I’m glad to be back.) 🙂

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