Florida, Michigan, California

I moved from Redlands,Ca. to Destin, Florida (panhandle) 5 years ago. I was fine for the first couple of years but in the past three have been simply miserable. Comes and goes all year leading me to believe its a mold or spore thing. Claritin D and Rhinocort are only a thin veiled shield against whatever is getting me. I’ll go home to Michigan and in a day or two feel awesome. The burning eyes, stomach pains, complete lethargy, depression, and just plain meanness are gone and return with a vengeance within a day of getting back home to Florida. It’s so bad I am leaving Florida (sold our house and will be moving north in a month or so).

I’m a very fit 37 year old male with literally no other health problems – this has been so depressing battling an unseen enemy for so long.

Can’t wait to get out of here – if you have slight allergies – never move to Florida they will rage on high. — R.C.B., Florida

[Originally posted to AllergyNursing.com on March 10, 2004]

Mexico, New Mexico, Germany

We moved because of the military from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Germany. My son had allergy/asthma issues before but nothing like now. He was retested since we have been here and he is allergic to mold which we did not test for in NM. His medication has been doubled since being here and he is now on 5 medicines at the age of 6. The Army is looking into moving us from Germany back to the states to a hotter/drier climate. Germany is very damp, and moldy. But we are yet to find out the best place for my son. What we do know is he was significantly better in NM. — S.K.H., Germany

[Originally posted to AllergyNursing.com on February 11, 2004]

Los Vegas, Seattle, Olympia

When my son was smaller, we lived in Seattle and Olympia, WA. He had a fair share of Asthma attacks and we thought they were bad, but eventually things improved as he got older.

Now his is 24 and lives with us in Las Vegas, NV area and functions pretty well, but has had three terrible attacks that to me and him were much worse than when he was a child. There are so many triggers here we didn’t have in Washington. Yes, it’s dry, so the summer is better for him but when it turns dry and cold, and we’re in the house more, he has these terrible, almost killer attacks.

We spray for bugs all the time and seem to have them almost eliminated but we do have pets. He really shouldn’t be living with us (we got the dog after he grew up as our daughter had never been able to have a dog). Now he’s back and it’s tough for everyone.

Anyway, I’ve been exploring the idea of a better climate for him. We have lots of pollen problems here too and that surprises many people because you’re in a desert and don’t think it will be that much of a problem. So I’d sure like to here of some other experiences. — S.M.S., Nevada

[Originally posted to AllergyNursing.com on December 2, 2003]

Best climate for allergies

From one of our readers

My family and I suffer from both outdoor and indoor allergies. I wanted to know if moving to a moisturized climate would be better for us? — Lola, California

A different reader writes

Eighteen months ago I moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Naples, Florida and am in the midst of a bronchial infection caused from sinus drainage. This condition has been ongoing for six weeks now.

I wonder now if it was such a wise idea to move from a high desert climate to reclaimed land that was once a large swamp? The torrential rainfall we have here in southwest Florida probably doesn’t help — Lewis, Florida

Most people find that allergy symptoms lessen in dryer climates or seasons, and worsen with increased humidity. Increased humidity promotes mold spore growth and provides an ideal environment for dust mites. It is also harder to breathe as the barometer goes up. Those of us in more humid areas are often helped by a using dehumidifier continually during high moisture seasons. You can read about my own experience with a dehumidifier here.

However, a humidifier is sometimes prescribed on a temporary basis to soothe the airways and help loosen secretions of chronic infection or other special needs. Unless specifically ordered by your physician, humidifiers should not be run continually because they can promote growth of mold and dust mites. Talk with your physician about what is best for you.

It is always good to spend time in an area you are considering moving to. Visit during different seasons. Even so, there is no sure way to determine how your body will react to the new climate once you move there.

One of our patients who moved to a drier climate a few years ago found that she did not need to continue her shots there at first. But eventually symptoms worsened to the point that she started allergy injections again.

Others have told me that changing climates relieved their symptoms and eliminated their need for injections.

One of our sponsors, National Allergy Supply, has an excellent selection of dehumidifiers as well as a germ-killing humidifier. They also have an excellent reputation as a professional company with down-home values, and I am proud to be able to recommend their products to you.

[Originally posted to AllergyNursing.com on October 20, 2003]

Michigan, Houston, Washington, Oregon

I grew up in Michigan – where my allergies/asthma begun around 8 yrs. old and it stayed semi-severe into my teens.

I moved to Houston, Texas in my 20’s, where I rarely had any symptoms the whole 8 yrs. I lived there.

I then joined the Navy, which moved me to Whidbey Island, Washington, where I had a few problems the 5 yrs. that I had lived there.

I now live near Portland, Oregon and I usually have mild asthma symptoms throughout the year – I use my inhaler frequently. I’m allergic to mold, pollen, grass, weeds, trees. Of course, there’s lots of mold here – due to all of the rain. — Marie, Oregon

[Originally posted to AllergyNursing.com on May 18, 2003]

Guadalajara, Mexico; Memphis; Southwest

After suffering from recurrent sinus infections, asthma and allergies, I began to study climate and locations to try to better my situation. I chose Guadalajara, Mexico, after trying some SW locations.

The results have been/are amazing. No allergy, asthma or sinus problems while there over a six year period. Yet, each time that I returned to the US – the Memphis area – I became ill almost immediately, and returned to all of the medications, antibiotics, prednisone, inhaled steroids etc. and suffered until returning to Guadalajara, where I felt better almost immediately, and was fully recovered within a week. Often in a day or so.

The climate in Guadalajara is said to be the “2nd best in the world.” GDL is a mile high and does not have wide ranges or swings of temperature. While there is air pollution, it would appear that the high-dry climate was beneficial to my condition. — M.C.M., Guadalajara, Mexico

[Originally posted to Allergy Nursing.com on May 18, 2003]

Where can I go to escape allergies?

One of our readers asks

Where is a good place to live for allergy sufferers? I thought the desert was a good area, like Victorville, CA? — Chris, California

Response from AllergyNurse:

One of our patients who grew up in New Mexico told me he never had a problem with allergies until he came to Arkansas.

Yet the University of New Mexico Hospital website notes that trees, especially juniper, grasses, and weeds cause problems with allergies even in New Mexico.

Another of our patients who has lived in California, Arizona, Texas, and now Arkansas said she suffered with allergies everywhere, even in the dry climate of Arizona.

The University of Arizona website says in Arizona “maximum pollen counts are lower than in most other regions in the USA,” and that in some circumstances mold and dust mites are less as well.

But there’s a flip side. Here in Arkansas, our patients are currently looking forward to a hard freeze that will greatly diminish pollen problems, though dust mite and mold allergies continue throughout the winter.

In warmer, drier climates, like Arizona, the pollen season also lasts year round.

Tucson, Albuquerque, and Las Vegas report high levels of air pollution also. Pollutants can make allergies worse.

A reader from Iran wrote asking about problems with grass pollen in that area. Scientists say no country or area is free from allergy problems.

The University of Arizona puts it well: “…there really is no safe haven for the allergy sufferer.”

[The link for the University of Arizona quote may have been removed, I couldn’t find it on their website anymore. (If you find it, post a comment here.) However they have lots of excellent info about allergies in Arizona and the Southwest. Start with:
Moving to the Southwest for Health Reasons?

[Originally posted to AllergyNursing.com on 1-22-03]

How does climate affect allergies? Read and share experiences.