Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I’m suffering the attack of the killer allergies, and boy do I have the lethargy to prove it!

Central Ohio is generally known as allergy central. I have known many people whose doctors told them the best treatment for their allergies would be to simply move away. But I have lived almost my entire life in this area, and I didn’t really suffer any allergy symptoms until I was in my forties. Then I started having mild hay fever symptoms – nothing a little Claritin couldn’t handle.

Last spring, my body upped the ante. When the spring trees bloomed, so did my eyes. They swelled, turned a lovely shade of red and began to water profusely. I would wake in the morning unable to open them because of the thick layer of goop that had accumulated overnight. I went to the doctor and stepped up to Zyrtec. It took care of the other increased allergy symptoms, but didn’t seem to touch the eyes. Eventually my doctor prescribed both antihistamine eye drops and an antihistamine nasal spray, and using both of those with the Zyrtec I managed to get through the few weeks when the tree pollen was thick. Afterward, it seemed my base level had ratcheted up a notch. Claritin didn’t touch even my low-level symptoms. But as long as I took my daily Zyrtec, I was OK.

Well it’s tree pollen time again, and my eyes are at it again. I have worn contact lenses for 36 years and these two springtime allergy events are the only things that have ever kept me out of them. (My eye doctor always comments on what surprisingly healthy eyes I have for such a long-time contact wearer.) Today I wore my glasses all day. In the morning my eyes were literally running like a faucet, but it rained today and I think the pollen count improved when it did. Now my eyes don’t feel too bad, except that I have to pay attention or I will find myself rubbing them. They have just that low-level itch that makes me want to dig in them, but experience has taught me that they fell so much worse when I do!

The thing I’ve noticed – and the real reason I thought all this might be of interest to someone else – is that when one’s eyes are swollen and itchy, it is very difficult to feel one’s normal energy level and conduct one’s normal daily functions. I mean, it is really only one little part of my anatomy that is in discomfort, but WOW does it affect my overall productivity! I have had a hard time getting even the most basic chores done today. I think it’s because that whole itchy eye thing is a lot like what it feels like when I’m sleep-deprived, and my mind misinterprets it. Like it says, “Hmm, the sandman came through. Must be time for some shut-eye.”

Or at least, that’s my story – and I’m sticking to it!

No comments: