Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Illinois - World's Mold and Pollen Capital


Atmospheric Mold After Just 120 Hours Of Incubation

Realm of the Black Knight reveals in his most recent post a very scary incident in which he blacked out at the wheel. Cause? Sinus infection. I too suffer from chronic sinus problems and wanted to make a few comments about Central Illinois notoriety when it comes to mold, and pollen.

The earliest perceptions I had of people who mentioned having allergies were usually of either hypochondriacs, narcissistic personality types, or effeminate males. I can thank the mass media for creating this perception by portraying those with allergies as self absorbed weaklings.


What Is the Solution?

So it was quietly shocked when my buddy at the11thhour admitted to me when we were teens that he had an allergy or two - and get this - had to take allergy pills! What a wimp I'd secretly tell myself. It must be a sign of personal weakness on his part. Only wimps get allergies. Next thing you know he'll be crying for mommy! But I never told him about my misgivings, and he may in fact be shocked while reading this that I ever had this initial reaction to his problem.

For many years I had noticed a growing problem that I had with stuffy noses, and itchy reactions. Some nights I'd leave my window open, and I'd find myself itching so much I simply couldn't sleep. I'd wash all my sheets, and blankets and I'd take a shower, and I'd still itch.

Eventually I'd break out sneezing.


Weather.Com's Spore Map - Just Gotta Love Those Spores!

After many of these episodes I came to the conclusion that I had developed an allergy.

I slowly got the nerve to start buying antihistamine tablets, and dealt with my allergies that way. Yet I soon discovered that over the counter remedies at that time had a way of interrupting sleep, and dulling the mind.

It wasn't long until no drowsiness antihistamines made of molecules so large that they couldn't pass the blood brain barrier were developed, but at the time I didn't have health insurance and couldn't afford shelling out over a hundred dollars a bottle for them.

Eventually the FDA forced the makers of Claritin,. who were being sued by several health insurance companies, to release Claritin as an OTC. And now Loperamide is available as a generic. Walmart sells a thirty day supply for three dollars! This was a drug that was selling for nearly a hundred dollars a bottle just six years ago.

Despite this easy to obtain, safe, and effective antihistamine I still find myself hit with sinus troubles. I usually don't recognize it until it's too late. The sudden onset makes itself known in the headaches, and facial pain. The dizziness when moving the head around is a clear give away of sinus troubles.

Illinois is the worst state in the nation as far as ragweed, and corn pollen are concerned. Illinois also is the worst state in the nation when it comes to mold, and when it comes to summer time right when the corn plants are man high is about the time when allergies start getting bad.


Weather.Com's Weed Pollen Map

Relief often doesn't come until November. I live in Jerome, and we actually still allow people to burn their leaves, and other yard waste. This is insane, and causes me several allergic breakouts each year. And so November is really the first month in which allergies begin to subside for me.

Many people actually move to other states due to their allergies, but sadly states like Arizona, and Nevada which have seen a huge increase in population are no longer the havens they once were offering clean air to those in need.


A Mix of Pollen

This morning was particularly bad for me as I woke up with sinus problems which I had gone to bed with the night before. I lost hours of sleep from it, and decided I had had enough, and called in sick.

I can see myself as a teenager chuckling at anyone who suffered from allergies, thinking they were weaklings. For after all what's a little allergy? Today however I know better. The immune system slowly but surely builds allergic responses sometimes over reacting to harmless substances. We all eventually develop allergies if we live long enough. It's a matter of learning to deal with them.

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