TPAP / Elon / UNCSA area and summer allergies

I realize that SARS-CoV-2 may substantially impact society well into the summer, but to assume for the moment that travel and gatherings are permitted and life gets back closer to the way it was before COVID-19, I would like to get your input on the following topic:

I understand that some students spending the summer at TPAP / Elon or UNCSA may be impacted by seasonal allergies and / or humidity … including hay fever, dust mites, etc. For people unfamiliar with this part of the country, what recommendations do you have on things to DO and / or BRING to avoid (or provide relief) to hay fever / humidity (and any other allergies I may be unaware of) during the summer months there?

Be well, stay well and thanks in advance for your input

My daughter goes to school in Nashville which I know is not NC but she has had allergy problems since moving there a couple years ago. We finally took her to ENT and he has her on Flonase and Zyrtek daily. This has solved all of her allergy issues!

I live close to both schools. I did not have any allergies until I moved to this area after college 25+ years ago. I now have year-round allergies that must be managed on a daily basis. If it’s the area or I would have gotten them anywhere who knows. But, I am allergic to basically everything alive on the planet - though I seem to be fine with all drugs and food.

I usually recommend allergy suffers to study their symptoms with what bloom and the time of year. Of course, this takes years to figure out. I’ve had plenty. For me, my year round symptoms are the typical sinus issues. When trees and flowers are blooming in the spring, I get the itchies - itchy nose, ears, and (the worst!) mouth. I also get super gooey eyes and wake up looking like a crack addict.

The grasses are my biggest trigger and they peak twice around here. From mid April until mid June and then again from mid August until the first frost around November. That primarily affects my breathing while running.

So, the summer months aren’t the peak months except for the humidity/heat which my body also hates! I’m just flat out miserable in July/August from the heat. I swell like beach ball which is oh so good for the ego.

Anyhow, what to do? I did allergy shots for 4 years and could never make it to maintenance level. They said I was just too highly allergic to too many things. Joy. But switching to a daily dose of Nasocort (generic OTC) and Zyrtec (same) has cleared up 90% of my daily symptoms. Prior to this, I used to literally sneeze 50 times in a row after every shower. It was exhausting. Now, the only sinus stuff I have is pressure behind my eyes. When the itchies start in the peak time, I add the OTC Generic Opticon allergy eye drops. I will also take a OTC severe allergy pill as needed during at peak times. And finally, those sinus rinses (neil med kits) are a godsend. Once the packets are gone, it’s just a mix of 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of baking soda. I’ll do this once/day - but never right before bedtime. You need to be upright long enough for everything to drain. And I’ve also found it not to be good if you are already very stuffed up The extra fluid can get stuck and prone to infections.

But long story short, once I figure out this routine and how to manage my symptoms, I’ve been so much better. My last sinus infection was 8 years ago!

We are in the area and have never heard of such a situation. Prior to moving here, though, we lived in Seattle, which is nonstop, year-round moisture and mold. We find it very nice and mild in every way here.

We live in NC, and my daughter attended the UNCSA summer program. While at home she has seasonal allergies and suffers from an allergy to dust. When she arrived at UNCSA, her allergies cleared up. We figure the lack of soft furnishings/carpet and pets definitely helped her. While there are a lot of tress, they simply weren’t the kind that aggravated her allergies. You just never know until you get there.
As for the humidity, it can be high. My daughter found that body wipes were a life saver for her. The deodorant kind. She said the dance classes are intense and when you finish you are covered in sweat, but then have to go to your next class of the day. She felt disgusting. The wipes helped her feel refreshed.

The dorms are air conditioned, but her roommate brought a standing fan and a small dehumidifier. The fan was mainly used to dry clothing after washing, and the dehumidifier helped regulate the humidity in the room from that.

I have heard that locally sourced honey helps

My D has pretty bad allergies and went to TPAP last summer. I don’t remember her complaining about it getting worse, she mostly talked about the large bugs ?, bigger than CA bugs. She has to stay on top of her daily allergy meds and prefers the Arm n Hammer saline spray to a Neti pot or squeeze bottle. She also always has a thermos with hot tea, which is for her voice but helps keep everything draining. Also, a portable hepa filter has helped her the most at home so she will have one in her dorm next year if she gets a single or a roomie who doesn’t mind the white noise from it.

My family visited Elon in April a few years ago. My kids and I have moderate seasonal allergies where we live - my husband doesn’t have any. We all spent 3 days sneezing our heads off and popping zyrtec every 24 hours. People wouldn’t go near us on our tour the second day - we were 4 people with runny noses and itchy eyes and everyone looked at us the way you get looked at now if you sneeze. I’ve never had that happen to all of us in one place like that before. All that said, it was spring and the pollen was bad. I would definitely start flonase and zyrtec before going if you think it might be an issue and have sudafed and afrin on hand.

The pollen in the Carolinas is brutal. In the spring it looks like everything is coated in yellow snow. You have to brush it off the cars it is so thick. Whether it bothers someone really depends. My D has severe allergies to basically everything that grows outside (and asthma) and surprisingly she didn’t do too bad there. Other classmates were really struggling. Definitely flonase and claritin/zyrtec/something if your student is prone to allergies, as you won’t know till they get there how they will do. Also recommend the sinus rinses, zaditor allergy eye drops and showering before bed to wash off any pollen that might have landed on them during the day.
The humidity is GROSS. No other way to put it. You are always wet. If you wear glasses be prepared for them to fog up immediately after getting out of your air conditioned car/building. A dehumidifier is great to have if you want to spend the money, but one thing that D used (since she didn’t have a dehumidifier) was Damp Rid. Keeping a tub of that stuff in their room can help soak up extra moisture and works really well. You can get it at any home improvement store or Walmart down there.
I know you didn’t ask about the bugs- but since someone mentioned them in the string, make sure you talk to your student about them. Some young people are really freaked out by them. We are talking some bugs the size of your outspread hand. And they fly/jump. The cicadas are really loud and can be unnerving if you aren’t used to it. And the cockroaches (that I feel are way bigger than NYC cockroaches), are all over, in addition to all manners of strange creepy crawlies.

for spring allergies, for pollen I close the window at home and got an air purifier from www.protechallergies com and it really works well, no more stiffy nose! :slight_smile: