My first year in Chile, spent in Viña del Mar, didn't include allergies from what I remember. Perhaps the sea breeze kept them at bay. I wouldn't be surprised if it honestly helped. However since moving to Santiago in 2008, my allergies have bothered me again during the spring. And while this is my 3rd spring in Santiago, they are not getting any better. In the past, I took lots of allergy medicine. Last year I bought heaps and heaps of it to keep the headaches, stuffy noses and other no-fun symptoms at bay. But this spring, along with a lot of the changes I have undergone this year, I am trying to not depend on medicine to keep the symptoms at bay. I am tired of feeding my body medicines just to cover up symptoms instead of actually trying to fix the problem. Plus, it just doesn't seem like a good idea to fill our bodies with all these chemicals and toxins that mess up the way our body can naturally heal itself.
What I have noticed is that my allergies only go crazy in the mornings on my walk to work and in the late afternoons on my way home--basically when I am outside. At work, since we have the central air system, I don't normally have many symptoms except for the occasional sneeze. However during this past three-day weekend I was in allergy hell. Yesterday was the worst of all the days....it was also the hottest in Santiago which may be one of the problems. I was stuffy, sneezing, and kind of fog-headed most of the day when I was cooking and getting stuff done. Once I started to relax a bit and read, the symptoms subsided a bit.
I am now going to start looking for some more natural remedies for allergies. Yoga seems to be one side of the coin (for the relaxation since stress makes allergies worse), I know some local honey would probably help too (to get my system used to the pollen from the inside out) and there are some herbal medicines that work as anti-histamines. I might pick one up today just to have when my allergies get overbearing. There are also some foods that are anti-inflammatory that are supposed to help, so I definitely need to start eating them. Most of all though I'd like my body to stop reacting so harshly to the allergins.