seasonal allergies in east africa

Old Jul 10th, 2005, 06:57 AM
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seasonal allergies in east africa

Does anybody have any info about whether people with pollen-type allergies like hay fever, etc. have any problems in Kenya (Mara, Amboseli), Tanzania (Tarangire, Ngorongoro, Serengeti) or Zanzibar in August? We're leaving for our first trip to Africa on July 30. At home (NYC), we use meds like flonase, nasonex and occasionally zyrtec. The inhalers (flonase/nasonex) take a few days to kick in so, if necessary, we'd have to start using them in advance of the trip. Thanks for the help!
sharon815 is offline  
Old Jul 10th, 2005, 07:31 AM
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I suffer from quite severe hayfever and have not really found it a problem in Africa though it does depend on which pollens you're allergic to.

When I was a kid they did that prick test down my arm and told me I was allergic to pretty all pollens but I can only assume they included only UK ones as otherwise I should suffer more in other parts of the world.

The only thing I can suggest is to try and work out which pollens set you off at home (which you can do by working out which months you tend to suffer in and which pollens are in the air at those times of year) and then see if you can find out whether similar pollens will be airborne in the parts of Africa you are visiting when you are visiting?
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 11:02 AM
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I also have horrible alergies and live on Clariton when I am home in Los Angeles. However for a spring visit to East Africa I didn't have a problem at all. Though it is rather dusty and if you are sensitive to that then you may want to consider bringing some type of over treatment.
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 10:33 AM
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I did not think I would have a problem, but I was wrong! Luckily I was able to stock up on Zyrtec from a pharmacy in Nairobi.
Femi is offline  
Old Jul 12th, 2005, 12:17 PM
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Hi Sharon -

Of course you have allergies... you live in NYC. No to, would be surprising. LOL!

I too have problems breathing which isn't all too pleasant, but they're not allergies per se. It's more time-sensitive - as evening arrives, everything just closes up on me regardless whether indoors, outdoors, in-country or elsewhere - can't be something in the air everywhere in the world! Or can it be - oh, maybe just air!!!

So I would pop an Allegra-D - decongestant. This works fine, but of late (past 6-months) I've weaned myself off of these slowly; instead use a simple saline solution spray. It's worked for some months now, but every once in a while - it doesn't. So I've lowered the Allegra-D dose for sleeptime only and take half of a 12-hr pill. Surprisingly, there are nights when I forget and I'm still breathing!

On our recent trip, I had my entire pill box and I took whatever else I regularly use... don't recall taking any of the Allegra-Ds. Whether this had to do with being in Tanzania at the end of the wet season - don't know. But up north in Kenya, where it was dry-dry - didn't need any here. That's not to say, I wouldn't have if the need arose.

But, allergies (or the inability to get air in) are very individual, I don't believe anyone can say how you will or won't react once in Kenya/Tanzania. So if there are meds you usually use... take them with you and see how you react.
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