Andrea's Corner: Bless You Squared: Allergies

That’s a joke my summer algebra instructor says whenever someone sneezes twice in a row or “bless you cubed” if it’s three times in a row. If some of you haven’t figure it out yet judging by the Benadryl in your cabinet (or Zrytec, Claritin, etc…), the pile of used Kleenex’s at your house, in your car, purse and your increased Puffs budget. Kids with snotty noses, that incessant cough. This year has been a BAD year for allergies. There are several contributing factors in the epic allergy overload right now. Too much rain = mold. Too little rain=dust and grasses etc. becoming airborne.Mold,dust,pollen,chemicals sprayed on the crops because too much rain made them have to crop dust, it all adds up. Increased coughing, sneezing, runny noses, stuffy noses, asthma attacks, allergies and allergens can also contribute to bronchitis and various infections. One of my boys who has been playing soccer outdoors twice a week, developed an ear and sinus infection this past week and had to take breathing treatments for several days.

According to http://allergycapitals.com/#capitals

The top allergy capital in the United States are

1. Kansas City, Missouri

2. Jackson, Mississippi

3. Knoxville, Tennessee

4. Louisville, Kentucky

5. Memphis, Tennessee

6. McAllen, Texas

7. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

8. Dayton, Ohio

9. Chatanooga, Tennessee

And

10. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

There are much more cities on the list if you go and check it out, I’m lucky enough to live within an hour of one of the lucky cities on the list.Yay me, that explains a lot.

So what does all this have to do with whether you may wonder? Well let’s review some basic elementary level science. Rain falls from the sky, is soaked into the ground where the roots of plant sucks up the water and nutrients, photosynthesis occurs from the sunlight, the plant grows, releases pollen as part of its reproductive process.SO,if you have an overabundance of rain, there’s an overabundance of flowers, “April showers bring May flowers.” And June flowers, and July and pollen, tree and grass pollen and mold and….then it gets dry and all of that stuff starts floating around in the air and your car has a layer of dust and stuff all over it.And you start thinking “Wow, I’ve been inhaling that.” Then you hope for rain because it’ll make it all kind of dampen down for a little bit. But if it’s too much rain then you get more mold and such, so it’s a cruel revolving cycle.

Also, if you notice on that list, Oklahoma City is on the list. Tornadoes stir up allergens as well, plus things get dispersed in the air by the damage caused by the tornadoes themselves. For instance, in 2011, a month after Tuscaloosa, Alabama was hit by the EF5.I went on vacation with my family and decided to take a little detour through Tuscaloosa on my way home, because I had never seen damage of that magnitude, so I thought it’d be a good opportunity to. And it was something completely unlike anything I had ever seen.However, I also had never experienced such a quick onset of laryngitis and bronchitis in my whole life. About 20 miles from the city, I started coughing, by the time I saw all of it and reached the Mississippi line a few hours later, I could not talk. By the time I got home, I felt absolutely awful. I had to make a doctor’s appointment for the very next day. She said I had inhaled something in that area that had irritated my lungs so badly that I had developed bronchitis. It’s mentioned in one of the links about storms stirring up allergens, that’s 100 percent true. Been there, done that, bought the throat spray. As a side note, whenever you are assisting in tornado clean up, especially immediately after, wear a mask. Right now, there are 3 moderate cities for allergies…Oklahoma City is one of them,Raleigh,North Carolina and Santa Clara, California. I’m not surprised that Oklahoma City is on the list. Is it from regular seasonal allergies or is it from allergens from the tornado season? Or a combination of both?

http://www.weather.com/outlook/health/allergies/hotspots/

http://www.weather.com/activities/health/allergies/allergies-and-your-weather.html

So what can we do about it? Nothing really. You can take allergy medicine and/or herbal supplements and well, pray for a good hard freeze. And buy more tissues because you’re going to need them.

Blood Suckers

The weather channel site also has a Mosquito over view http://www.weather.com/activities/homeandgarden/home/mosquito/articles/overview.html

Have you noticed how bad the mosquito's have been this year? I have! My eldest child stepped outside the other day, and within 2 minutes I slapped about 5 mosquito's off of him. That’s a down side to lots of rain. Mosquito's thrive in wet conditions because that’s how they breed. Anywhere you have lots of standing water and/or forests, you will have loads of mosquito's. That is something that has to be looked out for anytime you have a large-scale flooding situation. As is the threat of West Nile virus.

Andrea McGhee

Lead Blogger Mr Twister

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