So, I was driving to Dunken Donuts yesterday to buy donuts for a surprise Father's Day treat, and I happened to be listening to the radio. John Tesh came on.
Let's carry on....
He said something like, 'Do you suffer from seasonal allergies and itchy eyes?"
Readers: I do.
Not only that, buy my son and husband have awful allergies. Awful.
So, I turned up the volume and gave Tesh my serious attention (a sentence I'm not sure I ever thought I'd write).
Apparently, researchers found that people who didn't wear sunglasses outside required 10x more antihistamine or allergy meds than those who do.
I decided to research that because you can't always believe what you hear on the radio.
According to Men's Health, it's true:
The researchers administered nasal spray and loratadine (Claritin) to seasonal-allergy sufferers, then asked half of the patients to wear sunglasses during the day. The group that sported shades required significantly less anthistamine and reported fewer eye-related symptoms.
It gets better, though. Apparently, contact lenses improve 'ocular allergy,' which in turn improves nasal allergies, as the nose and eyes are connected.
Also, I didn't realize UV rays stimulate allergic reactions in our eyes.
So, sunglasses not only limit the amount of pollen or allergens that get into our eyes, but they also block UV rays (assuming they're quality sunglasses), both of which help reduce allergic reactions.
I have to say, I wish I'd had this information in Arizona. The dust alone kept my eyes itchy and bleary for most of the year. My face constantly felt like it was burning. I did buy nice sunglasses in Arizona, but that was an attempt to ward off migraines. Having said that, I think migraines and allergies are linked,
I researched that, too.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, "One study found that migraine occurred in 34% of persons with hay fever (allergic rhinitis) as compared to 4% of those without this disorder."
How do allergies contribute to migraines? According to the article:
There are numerous ways that these disorders could increase the frequency of migraine attacks. First, increased inflammation caused by these disorders might increase migraine. Second, nasal congestion caused by hay fever could directly activate the trigeminal nerve in the nose and trigger migraine. Also, it might cause snoring that could lead to sleep apnea that could precipitate headaches. Third, use of asthma medications such as albuterol might trigger attacks of migraine. Fourth, both hay fever and asthma activate nerves in the parasympathetic nervous system. It is possible that activation of these nerves increases migraine frequency.
So, this is all to say I already had great sunglasses, but you can't imagine how many times I go out without them. They're maybe in my purse, which is in the backseat of the car. Or they're in my car, and I'm outside pulling weeds. Or I forgot them back at home.
The list goes on.
I'm committing to keeping them with me and perhaps buying more than one pair. I'll do just about anything to stop the migraines and the allergies, which keep me itchy, dry and headachy a lot of the year.
Has anyone tried this as a means to limit allergies?
Any other tips?
I've been washing my sheets and vacuuming like crazy since we got a dog. I notice the longer I go between her baths, the worse my allergies get, so there's got to be a link. I got into the shower with her last night for a little spa treatment, and she looked forlorn and tragic, standing there with her head hung low and her eyes asking, "Is this really necessary?"
Finally, Tesh suggested the wrap around sunglasses as the best option.
Readers: I have my limits.
Can you imagine if I showed up to pick up my kids with wrap-around sunglasses?
But that got me thinking about all the military guys I see around here wearing sort of badass sunglasses. They deploy to a lot to dusty areas, so they all wear these high-end sunglasses. I decided to research that, too.
These are the kind of sunglasses I could get behind.
I'm always at a loss for what to get my husband for gifts, but given his allergies and the fact that he can pull off wearing military-style shades, maybe this is my next gift idea.
For now, I'll personally stick to my Kate Spades.
It's Monday, and 13 years ago today I gave birth to my daughter, Maggie. She's the loveliest girl in the world. We're off today to buy food for her birthday dinner: roasted sausages and potatoes with Dorie Greenspan's stovetop risotto and a vegetable for those of us who eat them (she does not). She's requested key lime pie for dessert, after my sister made it once for us in Arizona and it became Maggie's favorite.
I'm feeling all sorts of well feels today, and I hope you are, too.
Go put your sunglasses on.