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Spring in Japan: beautiful blossoms and hay fever misery

26 Comments

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I believe the allergy season in Japan starts to be a problem from about middle February when the ume trees start to bloom. (Though of course not this year, given the heavy snowstorms.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The only way I've found to get relief from bad hay fever in places like Tokyo is three pronged - one is an oral antihistamine like Allegra (generic Fexofenadine), a nasal spray like Flonase (generic Fluticasone), and antihistamine eye drops like Opcon-A. With those in action, you can enjoy life during this beautiful season.

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Spinning plates, I haven't done it but saw it featured on NHK. The absorption rate and speed is much better than an injection, they said. You have to begin it before pollen season starts, though.

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Never had any allergies (that I know of) before coming here, and have never been strongly affected by hayfever until this year. Today I was literally in tears for most of the day, have felt exhausted, and have a major headache and my skin is a nightmare. My eyes feel like they are on fire.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

“Air pollutants, stress and the Westernisation of lifestyle including eating habits have combined to worsen symptoms of pollen allergy,” I'm curious, why does a Westernized lifestyle and eating habits worsen hay fever symptoms - anyone know?

I would like to know, too. I can not even imagine what the connection is, I would gladly trade in some of my 'westernness' if it would reduce my allergies.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Rubbing vaseline (petrolium jelly) on the nostrils helps...the pollen sticks to the vaseline instead of going up the nose.

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I have some prescribed medication to deal with those. It is a nasal spray. Gouge me eye balls out and soak them into the water, yes, I had that feeling also. Not to mention sneeze and cough, red eyes from rubbing them constantly. I used to be fine, then until a few years ago, I started to have the reactions.

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At least there is scientific evidence to substantiate wearing a mask will offer some protection against pollen.

Pollen spores are several hundred times larger than an influenza virus, for example, which is why masks are utterly totemic when used for disease protection.

But against pollen? Certainly more worthwhile than "sublingual immunotherapy" (Quack) will turn out to be, I'm sure.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@Harald

I don't know... the local temple has quite a popular plum blossom festival every year.

I suspect the time of year, mid February as opposed to early April, probably has a bit to do with it. It's a bit cold to be sitting around drinking cold beer under plum blossom.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

was fine for 15 years..got back to Australia and the first Spring gave me a splitting sinus infection, fungal infection and a nasal polyp...I am certain this arose from the 15 years of pollen I absorbed in Japan.I feel sorry for all those who suffer.

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For those like me, who were fine but after some years developed allergic symptoms; I read somewhere a few years ago that pollen allergies can build up, and once your tolerance hits a certain threshold that's when the full symptoms become apparent. So it's not going to go away I'm afraid. With the full mask/ daily tablet/glasses treatment this year, I look ridiculous but it seems to work.

Anyone tried the “sublingual immunotherapy”?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Another excellent excuse to wear a mask.....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Can anyone explain why cherry blossoms are the only kind of blossom anyone cares about here? Although we don't make such a song-and-dance about it where I come from, it's fairly natural to enjoy the fragile beauty of apple blossoms, peach blossoms, etc.

Except here. Not a cherry tree? Not interested.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I didn't understand the misery until about 4 years ago. Now I wish my nose and sinus could be removed like a rack component for cleaning on the worst days.

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@Bluebris

I never had any problem in 7 years here, but this year has been terrible :o(

A coworker of mine said the same thing - I then realised that I've in fact been here 7 years myself and the hay fever has started to affect me...!

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I believe sugi pollen allergy will be definitely eliminated in 100 to 200 years. Okubo Kimihiro, Nippon Medical School

So, since only another few generations of Japanese will likely suffer from sugi and hinoki kafun sho everyone should just gaman during their lifetimes until then rather than dealing with the problem head on.in some constructive and proactive way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“Air pollutants, stress and the Westernisation of lifestyle including eating habits have combined to worsen symptoms of pollen allergy,”

I'm curious, why does a Westernized lifestyle and eating habits worsen hay fever symptoms - anyone know?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I never had any problem in 7 years here, but this year has been terrible :o(

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I have been getting pummeled by hay fever for the past 3 weeks or so. Not fun, not fun at all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"The result of poor forest management...."

together with the national love of concrete and abhorrence of the color green. In Japan's gray cities, the pollen bounces off the concrete and flies around the air.

The solution is pretty straightforward: plant more greenery in the city to replace all that concrete.

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The result of poor forest management, and plantation upon plantation of cryptomeria trees around every city/town in Japan....

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Hay fever... I was fine until last year. Now, it's a nightmare... Can't breath with a mask either...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Same here both me and son are 199% allergy free, my j-wife used to suffer badly every spring.

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Thankfully, I don't suffer from allergies. But, when I read “I want to take my eyeballs out and wash them,” I could really understand how those who do feel.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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