What is in bloom from Nov.-Feb. in Port Charlotte, FL?

Hey everyone, I should explain that I am a landscaper by trade, so avoiding the outdoors is impossible. I’ve never had allergies (in my mid 30’s) and when I was last tested a few yrs ago I tested negative for every common allergy. Yet it is like clockwork every year from mid Nov. – about Feb. my nose gets stuffy, sore throat, constant nasal drip that results in a cough. I hate it! Any help is greatly appreciated! – submitted by Chuck, Port Charlotte, Florida

[Note from Lois (AllergyNurse)]: Chuck, some trees bud during late fall and winter, depending on where you live. If you can’t avoid the outdoors, you might consider wearing a mask during the offending months. Hopefully readers from the Port Charlotte area will give you some ideas of what may be blooming there November-February!

If you decide to try a mask, our sponsor National Allergy has a selection of masks you can browse. You can probably find masks locally as well. If you do purchase a mask, be sure to read carefully to be sure you are getting one for outdoor allergens such as pollen and mold. National Allergy also has a cold weather mask that you might want to try, especially if you also have asthma. I don’t believe it protects from pollen, but you could ask them to be sure. The advantage to going with National Allergy is that their Customer Service Representatives are highly trained and very experienced. If you feel a mask may be helpful, you can tell them what your need is, and they will be able to suggest the best mask(s) to meet it.

Child with severe asthma: best and worst places?

What is the worst and best cities to live in for a child who has severe asthma? – submitted by Katelyn in Canada

Note from Lois (AllergyNurse): Katelyn, last month I published a report on the AAFA Fall Allergy Capitals for 2011, along with a link to our writeup of the Spring 2011 Asthma Capitals. In the Spring Asthma Capital report, I also talked about best places for asthma.

Hope this helps. Perhaps our readers will have further ideas to share.

Fall Allergy Capitals, Portland better than average 2011

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) released it’s “Fall Allergy Capitals” this month. Topping the list is Knoxville, TN, followed by Dayton, OH, McAllen, TX, Jackson, MS, and Oklahoma City, OK. AAFA does extensive research each year to provide this information on an annual basis.

Each Spring, AAFA also publishes their “Asthma Capitals” list. We did a full writeup of their 2011 Spring Allergy report soon after the report was released.This year, Richmond, VA tops the list. See the AAFA complete report listing the top ten Asthma Capitals linked below.

AAFA says, “There is no place safe from allergies in America, and some cities are more problematic than others.” Our goal here at Allergy Climates is to provide a place where people in the US and around the world can share which areas are least/most problematic for them.

Portland, Oregon ranks #100 on both lists this year for 2011, topping the year for the “better than average” place to live with allergies/asthma. What is your experience with allergy and asthma in Portland?

AAFA Asthma Capitals (Spring)
AAFA Fall Allergy Capitals

Early fall allergies in your area

What are common allergies for this time of year? My husband and I have been sneezing last few days. – submitted by Margaret, Sedona, AZ

Note from Lois (AllergyNurse): Ragweed, of course, tops the list as the #1 fall allegren worldwide. Mold from rotting leaves and hay, along with grass pollen still haning on from summer in some areas, stir the mix. Fall adds a special punch of tree pollen to the potpourri, and certain foods trigger fall allergies (see my August 6, 2010, post).

Besides ragweed, what is the most prominent fall allergen in your area right now?

Asthma in South Carolina, previously in VA and DC

I moved down from VA after a month long European trip, where I stayed sick the entire time. I know VA, esp. around the DC area is awful for allergy sufferers and my asthma has been worse in the last 10 years…now that I’ve moved close to the ocean, near Hilton Head, I had hoped I would be better, but I ended up in the ER at Coastal Carolina the second week after I arrived. I can’t get “healthy” when I have to be on steroids constantly…even the inhaled kind put weight on me like crazy. I want to go somewhere that will help me breath without rattling and wheezing….I’m starting to sound bad right now….and I’ve only been out of the hospital for a little over a week! I can’t exercise, I can garden….just like right now…I’m in the house with the AC turned up….this is no life in a area on the ocean with so much to do for people with their health!!! Help! – part 3 of 3 posts about asthma at home in SC and abroad -submitted by Khaki Berry in South Carolina

European travel: asthma in Germany, France, Belgium, Amsterdam, 2010

In the summer of 2010, I traveled for one month to Munich, Chamonix, France….Normandy, Waterloo, the Ardennes in Belgium and finally, Amsterdam. I never used the precautionary prednesone that my doctor sent with me….I don’t remember using my inhaler ….not once. I told my doctor about it when I got back to the States and once again, began wheezing. I want to plan another trip for next year, but I wondered if anyone else had these breathing problems in certain cities….I will go to Europe in 2012 and I’ll stay the whole summer if I have to…..just to get into a city where I don’t have to be on medications and inhalers. The summer of 2011 in France, Italy and Ireland was absolutely horrible and I thought I would die at least twice. Does anyone else know of cities that are easy on asthmatics? – part 2 of 3 posts about asthma at home in SC and abroad -submitted by Khaki Berry in South Carolina

Asthma in France, Italy, Rome, Ireland, and England, 2011

I traveled for a month this summer. I took along the usual 7 days of prednesone just in case and the inhalers that keep me going. First two weeks, I was in southern France….Antibes and along the Mediterranean…used up my prednesone there….took the train to Florence and could hardly breathe. By the time I got to Rome and the humid heat of the summer of 2011, I was barely able to tour the city. I had gone through 4 inhalers and was on my last one. Pretty scary. Flew to Dublin, Ire. and on my second night in a Temple Bar area luxury hotel, I had the front desk call an ambulance…the ER visit was only 4-6 hours, but the doctor said he sees many, many cases of people with asthma attacks in Dublin. Flew then to Essex, England and another doctor visit at a nearby clinic. Both visits landed me more steroids and another 8 lbs. ….came home and ended up in the hospital for 6 nights in my hometown of Bluffton, SC….the worst heat ever……the summer of 2011 has not been fun and I’ve put on almost 20 lbs since May. – part 1 of 3 posts about asthma at home in SC and abroad -submitted by Khaki Berry in South Carolina

Asthma and move from north to south Midwest

I work at a school in deep southern illinois, an area infamous for high pollen and mold counts and wickedly humid, high temps in the summer. A new student from northern Ohio has been having difficulty breathing when running outside for P.E. and has had to stop a couple of times under my supervision. My co-worker and I are concerned the climate change could be a reason. His mother says he is probably faking as he hasn’t had an asthma attack in two or three yrs. Is there a real basis to our theory? – submitted by EW

How does climate affect allergies? Read and share experiences.