Question: Are they called “seasonal allergies” if you have them every season, all the time? I am, and always have been, a sneezy person. The season, the location, the weather—none of these matter. If it’s in the air, I’m probably allergic to it. Unlike some food allergies, most seasonal or nasal allergies are not likely to kill you or send you into anaphylactic shock (blessed). But they can certainly make life miserable for the people affected by them. Unfortunately, it looks like things are just going to get worse: Environmental health scientists have recently suggested that climate change could cause grass pollen production to double throughout the next century, leading to a spike in airborne allergens worldwide. Um, yay? (Ugh.)
If you’re plagued with nasal allergies, sometimes it can feel like there is not much you can do about them: You can take over-the-counter antihistamines; You can see a doctor for steroids sprays and allergy testing; You can avoid certain triggering foods; You can stay inside and as far away from the fresh, pollen-laden air as possible. But sometimes it feels like all of these measures, in addition to being a pain in the ass, simply don’t work. So what to do? I’ve got one final option for you: commiserate. You are not alone, my sorrowful, itchy-eyed allergy suffering friend. Come, join me in recounting some of the daily challenges only we can understand. Just try not to sneeze on me.
1. You have taken ALL THE DRUGS
When I’m having a particularly bad allergy day, I often have people tell me to take some medicine. What they don’t realize is that people with terrible allergies are already taking everything that they can: antihistamines, steroid inhalers, antihistamine eye drops, even allergy shots. All this just to reach base-line functionality!
2. People assume you are sick all the time
For people who aren’t used to sneezing 20 times during a regular day, an allergy-sufferer’s constant nose-blowing can seem extreme. People ask me if I'm sick all the time. Nope! This is just life.
3. Yes, it is possible to have a cold and have allergies at the same time
You know what’s worse than having a nasty cold? Having hay fever on top of it. Welcome to Allergytown, where it is all snot, all the time.
4. You must have a box of tissues in every room
This is non-negotiable. You have a box of Kleenex in every room of your house, in your office, and in your car. The tissues are life!
5. No, really, tissues is everything.
I’m listing tissues twice because they are that important. If you have bad nasal allergies, then you also have very strong feelings about facial tissue brands and types. If you’re out and about and realize that you have no Kleenex, you begin to panic and your nose immediately begins to run. You seriously consider buying stock in Kleenex because you know that your nose will keep that business afloat all on its own.
6. Is that a terrible skin infection you have there? No, it’s just my allergy testing.
You can always recognize an allergy sufferer by the telltale signs of allergy testing: a grid of scratches or small injections on the back or arms intended to provoke allergic responses. Hot! I know that nothing makes me feel sexier than having a lattice of red welts covering my upper body.
7. Cats are Satan
I know that there are lots of lovely, sweet, beautiful cats out there. But for someone with a cat allergy, cats are demons sent from hell to wreak havoc and rain destruction upon the heads of lowly allergy sufferers. Kittens aren’t so cute when being within ten feet of them make your eyes swell shut. Damn you, feline Satan-spawn!