Winds bring change and allergies

The winds of change are upon us. I’m sure you’ve all seen and felt it in the past couple of weeks.

These powerful winds are bringing many changes, and I’m not talking about the momentous kind that will be forever noted in the annals of history.

I’m talking about the kind of changes that those of us who suffer from allergies will no doubt experience with these winds and the pollen they stir up.

First, there is a nagging tickle at the back of your throat and then your eyes begin to itch. You know it is coming, but there is little you can do to stop it.

All you can do is prepare. Stock up on tissues and an arsenal of allergy medicines.

It doesn’t take long before your nose begins to run. Until it doesn’t. It’s so stuffed up you don’t think you will ever be able to breath normally again.

At least that’s how it started for me a little over a week ago. And it didn’t take long for the minor irritants to transform themselves into a full-blown attack on my entire body.

Once my stuffy nose took charge of the situation, those minor inconveniences were anything but.

I felt like one of those cartoon characters whose head had swelled to gigantic proportions. The pressure in my sinuses surely had made my face balloon up, or at the very least build up until it was ready to explode.

No amount of blowing my nose relieved the pressure. Tissue boxes came and went.

My eyes changed from itchy to red and watery. They were matched only by the redness of the chapped skin on my nose and lips.

My ears decided to join the party, too, getting itchy, runny and stuffy.

I tried over-the-counter allergy medications and old-fashioned remedies including breathing in steam from a pot of boiling water as I hunched over the pot with a towel covering my head so the steam couldn’t escape.

The relief was appreciated — but too temporary.

Soon, the tickle at the back of my throat turned into a nagging cough. My voice changed, getting a deep, sultry sound like Lauren Bacall, or realistically more like Froggy from the Little Rascals.

Aside from annoying my co-workers, the constant cough made my body ache.

It also triggered my asthma and I began to wheeze.

Fighting for air made me tired, but I couldn’t lay down and get comfortable enough to sleep.

Tissue boxes and cough drops replaced the decor in my home and took a prominent spot on my desk at the office.

Slowly, the symptoms began to subside and then the winds returned again with a vengeance.

The worst part — aside from moving — is there is nothing us allergy sufferers can do to avoid this fate.

According to Dr. Nevin Wilson, an allergy and immunization specialist and chair of the pediatrics department at UNLV School of Medicine, these allergens and pollens can travel 75-100 miles in this environment. So even if you carefully select the plants in the landscape surrounding your home, a random stranger miles away can maximize your suffering.

There also is very little rain or moisture in the area to trap the pollens or wash them away. Instead the dry winds blow them around so that everyone can share.

Will someone please pass me a tissue.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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