picture of the day

Hay fever season


Masks, nose sprays and glasses to help cope with hay fever (“kafunsho”) are on sale in the LOFT store in Shibuya, Tokyo. Every year at this time, many department stores, drugstores, convenience stores and other shops have corners dedicated to “kafunsho” goods, ranging from tissues, surgical masks and eye drops to special goggles.

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It's fun and it started right on schedule. An entire day given over to running eyes and nostrils and ten thousand sneezing fits. Gritty feelings in both eyes and up the nose. Massive headache. I'm taking two 12-hour pills each day now and finally breathing again. I'd rather go through the day feeling slightly muzzy-headed than suffer that sneezing nonsense again. Good luck, everyone!

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Magnificent!!! I thought the green thing was a cap/mask combination when i first saw this photo. so happy i don't suffer from hayfever.

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@Commodore, I feel for you, but I have to laugh at the mask in the photo. I can't imagine what people would think of me (a non-allergenic person, thankfully) if I wore that thing! Like I said, I feel for you, and every other hay-fever sufferer, and I promise not to make an issue of it when I arrive back in the country for my annual two-month trek around the countryside in two weeks.


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@Trevor-- Thanks! I can't really imagine the glasses helping a whole lot, either. Isn't there enough space between the lenses/frames and the eyes for pollen to freely come and go? And mostly come? Anyway, I hope you have a great trip. A two-month trek would really hit the spot right about now, even with allergies.

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@TrevorPeace1, Not sure why you are worried in Japan. No one thinks anyone is weird for wearing a mask here. I have no problem wearing one. They work great for hands free coughing and as a personal humidifier. However, I hope the green head in the photo above is not a remedy. I WON'T be trying that one.

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We "non-allergic" are very lucky I guess ! It must be horrible for those who suffer from hay fever !

If you'll be here in two weeks, I believe you said we should "get together"... If you can give me a location I'll try to contact.

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My wife used to suffer from the yearly allergy, luckily both me and my son are 100% allergy.

One of my coworker had to get a shot.

Wishing the best to everyone and hope it won't be too bad this year.

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I started suffering from hayfever a couple of years ago, though not nearly to the extent of some of my coworkers and and friends. I don't go full out, though, and don the masks because for me it's mostly the eyes and the glasses do not help one bit. I think a lot of the crap they shovel out at shops is just a cash grab. I mean, look at the sunblock for sale -- it stops hayfever using ions, stops 2.5 pm, etc. from entering the nose, mouth, etc. It's just a sales gimmick.

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glad i never picked up hayfever; it was nice going outside and enjoying myself without looking ridiculous. especially since effective antihistamines like benadryl will probably never be approved in jp.

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Since coming back to the States and settling in the Southeast, allergies and kafunsho are no joke! My remedy has been to take a teaspoon of local honey every day in a hot drink, and it has, so far and Praise the LORD, rendered my allergies to a bare minimum. I wish I'd done this in my time in Japan: it would've saved me a lot of money and a lot of suffering.

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My remedy has been to take a teaspoon of local honey every day in a hot drink, and it has, so far and Praise the LORD, rendered my allergies to a bare minimum

It sounds like you're not so allergic to your new surroundings. Allergies are caused by airborne pollen; the pollen in honey isn't airborne (hence the need for bees for pollination).


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