If you were offered a job in another city—or your current employer asked you to relocate—would you make the move? There are a lot of things to consider when you decide to relocate- cost to rent, new city, new friends etc etc. In addition to all these, people with allergies and asthma have to also worry about the weather and pollen in the area. For example, if you're moving within the next month, ragweed season has started in some parts of the country. It usually starts in mid-August and peaks around early September. People with asthma and allergies, who are sensitive to ragweed, can start feeling the symptoms by late summer. Ragweed is most commonly found in Midwest and the eastern states. A single plant can produce up to 1 billion pollen grains. The pollen can travel up to 400 miles!!! Ragweed sensitive individuals notice increased sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, itchy eyes and scratchy throat, which affects the quality of life tremendously. Asthma attacks, headaches, difficulty sleeping and chronic sinus infections can also be present in very sensitive individuals with uncontrolled allergic rhinitis patients. Consider the following if your move is going to take you out of state:
- Familiarize yourself to the pollen/allergens present in your new area of location. Then, identify your individual sensitivity to those environmental allergens by visiting a board-certified allergist in your area. Discuss a personalized action plan. The allergist can help identify and treat symptoms, and sometimes, suggest allergen immunotherapy – such as allergy shots or under-the-tongue sublingual tablets – and medication – either oral or nasal or both routes.
- Packing and unpacking for the move can expose you to dust. Use a mask to prevent yourself the best you can. Try sinus rinse or use allergy medications (as suggested by your allergist) to help you with symptoms.
- Find out if your newly rented or owned apartment or house had any cats or dogs from the previous tenants or house owners. If you are sensitive to animal dander, this could be serious trouble for you, especially if you have asthma. It takes 4-6 months to “de-cat” or “de-dog” a house. Discuss this with your allergist so a personalized plan can keep you free of symptoms.
When faced with the prospect of relocating, it is very easy to feel overwhelmed. However, if you make a plan, write your goals and determine a timeline, it could easier for you to work towards the move.