There's something in the air here in the States

I’ve been meaning to post an entry about this for some time. There has got to be something in the air or in the environment here in the States that’s causing people to have problems with their breathing, and flaring up their allergies. Case in point, Ligia and myself. Let me explain.

Ligia came to the States in 2004. She had no problems whatsoever (no allergies, no breathing problems) in Romania. As soon as she came to the States, she started having problems with pollen, clothes fuzz, and dust. She gets itchy eyes and she sneezes when she goes outside. The skin on her fingers gets cracked and rough when she handles old books or cleans the dust in our home. It’s not fun at all.

Me, I came to the States in 1991. Like Ligia, I had no allergies in Romania, which is a fairly polluted country – or at least used to be when I lived there. While my problems aren’t as serious as Ligia’s, my nose seems to be continually stuffy, and I’ve noticed my problems getting gradually worse over the past few years. Now, I’ve started sneezing from little bits of dust as well. All I need to do is to shake some clothes (even if they’ve just been washed) or pick up an old book, and off I go, sneezing. My skin gets like Ligia’s, cracked and dry, when I clean around our home, and it doesn’t make sense to me.

In 1999, I visited Rome. Out of the 3 weeks I spent there, the first week was taken up with breathing problems. My throat and nose burned, and I could only take short breaths. I understand the pollution is fairly bad there, but it’s nothing special compared to some cities in Romania – cities where I spent plenty of time as I grew up. It’s as if my body had been stripped of any protection against allergens, and I was at their mercy.

Now that I get to compare notes with Ligia on this, both of us have observed that there are a lot more kids here with asthma inhalers than in Romania. As a matter of fact, I never saw any there, and Ligia only saw a single person using an inhaler. Allergies are practically non-existent there, at least not to the level that they’re present here. When our friends in Romania complain that they’re sick, it’s usually with a cold, or the flu, or a headache. Here, allergies flare up, people can’t get out of their house… What’s up with this?

I tell you, there’s got to be something in the air here in the States, something that strips one of any protection against allergens. I’d love to hear what others have to say about this.


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