Talking Allergies

Canada's best and worst places for allergies?
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Author:  frustratedallergic [ Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:31 am ]
Post subject:  Canada's best and worst places for allergies?

New to this forum, although I'm a long-time observer. It's great to be in a place where people can relate...I'm continually shocked how many people still do not understand allergies.

My question is...from the experience of yourself and others, what are the better and worse places in Canada for allergies? I've lived in a variety of places across North America, some moves which were necessitated by brutal allergy problems (Minneapolis/St. Paul was the absolute worst for me). Mold gets me terribly -- not only sick, but serious issues with dizziness and semi-blacking out episodes, and I'm struggling with that on a semi-urban area on the Niagara peninsula right now in late November (snow cover would help). Weeds and grass are terrible for me, while tree pollen isn't a big issue (but mold growing under fallen leaves is a huge problem).

So I know there's others out there - what do you or your family suffer from, and where has been good or bad for you? I saw a report in spring that said Ontario reported the highest percent of allergy sufferers while the Maritimes had the fewest. But nothing is absolute for everyone, of course.

Author:  BC2007 [ Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Canada's best and worst places for allergies?

I actually called the asthma huh. of Canada to ask that question wondering if for DS we should move. The woman helped list of the major pollens per region for me.
DS can't go out doors all summer due to pollen and the humidity. He is instantly sneezing, eyes running, getting an itchy rash, sometimes hives and constant asthma flare ups. Ottawa is apparently the worst place in Canada for ragweed, but DS reacts badly to grass when being cut, our grass or neighbors grass.
Our allergiest when I asked him if we should move said that our DS would most likely if we moved just start to react to whatever pollen was most predominant for that region. So it would be like trading one for another. Plus, pollution isn't too bad here but say we moved back to Vancouver LMLD then pollution would be worse.

I really don't know that answer other than to say you aren't alone and I do hope you find a location or prescription to help ease your symptoms. I see first hand how miserable environmental allergies can be for a person.
Glad you logged on, :huggy

Author:  BC2007 [ Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Canada's best and worst places for allergies?

:rofl I just got bleeped. I guess I should have written the asthma association of Candada. :rofl

I couldn't figure out what huh meant where I'd typed the wrong abbreviation for association. :D

Author:  Hiebs [ Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Canada's best and worst places for allergies?

This is an interesting topic. I highly suspect DS1 of having a mold allergy that is an asthma trigger, we'll find out for sure in a month. We live in Calgary and he's had 2 asthma attacks, mainly by direct inhalation of mold. He's always had a cough, at least until we started him on an inhaled corticosteroid a few months ago. I can't say what the precedence of allergies is here.

I suspect we live in one of the better places for avoiding mold since it is dry here. We will be heading to Maui on vacation, and I am really concerned over the mold issues there.

Author:  BC2007 [ Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Canada's best and worst places for allergies?

In Maui it is also very humid. Ottawa is very humid in the summer and that is a huge asthma trigger.
Take extra asthma meds. just in case.
Have a great trip.

Author:  frustratedallergic [ Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Canada's best and worst places for allergies?

Thanks for the replies, hopefully this becomes a long and valuable resource thread.

I know what the allergists say about getting new allergies, and it's true that you often will develop allergies to a local pollen after a year or two. But..... I also know from experience, moving can make a vast difference, either for better or worse.

Calgary's dry climate makes it relatively good for outdoor airborne mold. And while it's tougher for mold to grow indoors than, say, New Orleans or Miami, it's not impossible. I've heard doctors say mold doesn't grow over 5,000 feet in elevation. Yet I lived in Denver, my house as 5,400 feet, and while mold counts were very low outdoors, they weren't absolute zero.

Calgary and Denver have a lot in common-- neither snow in September nor t-shirts in January are shocking! The growing season is short, weather is dry and changes frequently. I found Denver much better than average for allergies, but sinuses got me there and eventually caused me to move. Sinus infections became perennial for me -- eventually, I had a CT scan that showed smaller than normal nasal passages, and what would happen is the mucus just got too dry, sat there and got infected.

Another place that didn't bother me too much was Nebraska, but I spent a couple of falls in Kansas, only a couple hours away, and it was terrible. The worst for me, however, was Minneapolis/St. Paul. Living on a large, forested lot (pretty common there) wasn't a help.

I also lived near the coast in California, where things were typically better, but mold in buildings could be a problem. Also, whenever the fall fire season began (about three of seven falls I was there), I'd end up terribly sick from the smoke and complications would typically go on 4-6 months with sinus and ear infections. I left largely because I wanted to come back to Canada, where I was born and grew up. And it's great to be back!

Author:  BC2007 [ Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Canada's best and worst places for allergies?

Wow, you've lived in an awful lot of places. Bet you are an expert at packing :D

Author:  frustratedallergic [ Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Canada's best and worst places for allergies?

I hate packing. :) But it sure helps to get rid of junk, I seem to get rid of half my stuff on each move (or maybe I'm just lazy and don't want to unpack!). Nebraska and Kansas were for university, so it wasn't a full move anyway. It's been interesting and fun though!

Enjoying the cooler weather today, helps a lot in allergies!

Author:  Hiebs [ Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Canada's best and worst places for allergies?

We have definitely had indoor mold on our windows, and I do know people that have had to install dehumidifiers to keep their top floors at a reasonable humidity. Our house is 40 years old and has it's original windows. We recently discovered that if we cover them in plastic (with those window cover kits) it gets rid of the condensation and the mold doesn't grow in the windows. I soaked our windows in vinegar to get rid of the mold a couple of years ago, but who knows if that did the trick. I think we really need to replace them, especially if DS1 does have a mold allergy.

I really hope you find a place where you can stay put!

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