Allergy time

allergenic It’s allergy season both in real life and on blogs. Lately, Ken from Living the Life in Saint-Aignan, had a whole piece about allergies and I just read about Yellow Dust in DriftwoodInspiration.
I never in my life had allergies. That is, until I moved into this new place some eight years ago. The only thing that could be called a bit of allergy, was when I ate something with mint or strong chocolate, which made me sneeze several times in a row.
The point is, where I used to live, there were no trees or plants whatsoever, and for some reason, I never experience allergies when I am in Normandy.
But as soon as I moved here, my eyes started crying, I started sneezing a lot and the worst part is this thing that you see a photo of, on the left side of the post. One of the nice aspects of this flat, is trees and plants are visible from every window.

I have no idea what this ‘ornamental’ bush at the bottom of my building is, but what I know is that when I walk by, I have to stop breathing, or else I start choking and coughing and it takes me quite a long time to recover.
Last week, as I was coming back home, they were trimming it, and it really got to my throat. Imagine! I can’t even leave my window open in the spring. Later on in the season, it’ll be OK. But right now, no way.
Now is allergy tied to being old?
One of my friends claim that it is due to the fact that city gardeners plant things that do not belong to the right ecosystem and that it is what causes allergies.
Do you have a clue?


17 thoughts on “Allergy time

  1. At first glance I thought that might be a juniper bush — those are notorious for causing allergic reactions. But I looked a the largest version of your picture, and I think it has leaves, not needles. So is it un buis, boxwood?

  2. Allergies are your body suddenly deciding that it doesn’t like something you’re breathing/eating/touching. They can come and go during your lifetime. I was violently allergic to cats when I was a kid and now have 4 of them in the house. You may not react to something like pollen from cherry blossoms until the second year that you encounter it (which happened to me when I spent a year in Vancouver). You don’t grow into allergies and you don’t grow out of them — they just come and go and some people never have them and others die from them. And the most common ones I see people run into is tree pollen in the spring and grass pollen later in the summer. And that’s today’s medical opinion. 😉

  3. I never had allergies, but since moving to Germany, some spring plant does a number on me for a few weeks…maybe the yellow fields of rapeseed? Also, you can inherit a family tendancy to hayfever–my poor oldest daughter suffers terribly (came from my hubbie’s side).

  4. okay, claude, you have identified an international malady it seems. well, we have not heard here from asia or the middle east but i bet sneezing is going on there too.

    yes, boxwood was my first thought for that bush. recently in portland, oregon, spouse and i got terrible stuffy head reaction. seems everyone there suffering. returned to new york and pollen must be following–happened again.

    it all seems to be part of how, at least the western part of the world, has messed around with the environment. such as people moving from illinois move to southwest for drier climate, then plant vegetation they were trying to avoid!

    hope you feel better soon. yours stuffily, naomi

  5. Could this be a yew? We have tons of them in Pennsylvania. I don’t have allergies but other friends here have a terrible time every spring. Hope you feel better soon, Claude!

  6. I was never affected with “allergies” but have had a sinus problem since being a child. I have the pressure and pain with any rapid change in temperature or climate and sometimes with approaching rain.
    But typical allergy symptoms never bothered me until my first year living on this island….Something was blooming here that I’d not encountered before. However, last year and this year the watery eyes, scratchy throat, etc. are much less. I believe many people have the ability to adapt to the allergen. Our antibodies kick in and the symptoms diminish. That’s why allergy shots help a lot of people.
    Good luck with that bush, Claude. It sure is pretty though.

  7. Various types of pollen will cause nasal/eye irritation, Claude. I can’t tell from your photo what kind of bush that is. The spate of yellow pollen we have here in NC right now is from pine trees. The pollen which most people are allergic to is much smaller than pine tree pollen, and seldom can be seen with the naked eye. I read that in a magazine recently.

    I hope you feel better soon.

  8. I went by the bush this afternoon, held my breathing and took a close up photo of the thing

    Not that knowing what it is will change much, but some of you were wondering 😉

  9. I don’t know what your bush is, but I have had reactions to some perfumes. I stopped burning aroma candles of any type, or using any other product with artifical aromas in my home, so as to not create a problem. Certain times when winds blow from the desert, through our area toward the coast I develop a reaction, but not every time. I assume something is in that wind but since the time varies I have no idea what. Have had the inside of my head “light up” inside some health care settings, and at times others working there have reported the same, but what was it? Mulberry tree in bloom outside our house, after several years of exposure, suddenly caused my husband severe respiratory problems, so we had it removed. I think we can build up an intolerance over time.

  10. I am mildly allergic to mango blossoms (which I only encounter in the tropics) and violently allergic to cats. I have had the cat allergy since I was a kid and it has gotten much worse as I got older. Be very careful with the allergy to that plant as it can get very nasty with increased exposure. Avoid getting close to the plant or staying near it.

    As for the plant we all probably need a closer photo, but don’t want you to get sick just to take it!

  11. Now that I can see it I know it and you’re right — it smells terrible! I pass by lots of them on my walks every (early) summer and I always think there’s dog poop somewhere. It took me a couple of years to figure it out but they’re spiraea shrubs. AND THEY SMELL LIKE _____!

  12. 😕 My sister is allergic to a lot of things. Sometimes she gets eczema so bad that her palms peel off and she has to wear gloves. I don’t have allergies but I do know how my body doesn’t like milk because after too much of it, I end up with a sinus infection or a sore throat. Leaving me with the burning desire for a latte and the determination to avoid one.

    I once read a fabulous book called “Allergies, Disease in Disguise” Quite a lofty title but a very very interesting look into allergy myths and ways of healing allergy.

    Lastly, I once worked with a woman who had never had any allergies until she was in a severe accident and needed a blood transfusion. since then she has been severely allergic to strawberries.

  13. I live just South of Kenju (she’s in Raleigh, NC) and yes, we are covered with a yellow pollen from the pines. However, for some reason I have never been allergic to it. I wish I could say the say about headaches…
    Don’t you hate it when you can’t open your windows to the Spring air??

  14. Well, NOT a yew! At least not a yew that I know. Perhaps un buis, a French type. The boxwood I grew up with in Virginia did not have berries like that.

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