Surviving Allergy Season

Do you find yourself a little…sneezy? Are your eyes and ears itching so much you want to claw them out? Is your nose running like a faucet?
If so, then I`m sorry to report that you probably have allergies, my friend. If you`re like me, it`s probably coming as a shock to you since you never had allergies in your home country. I never used to have issues before, even when others were suffering. Then again, America doesn`t have the bane of my existence: sugi.

There are a couple common offenders:
Japanese Cedar (sugi): February-April
Japanese Cypress (hinoki): March-May
Rice (iine): May-October
Ragweed (butakusa): August-October
Artemisia (yomogi): August-October

Sugi is by far the most common allergy to have and some people, including yours truly, suffer tremendously with exposure to its pollen.

So…what should you do for seasonal allergies?

Prevent Exposure
Preventing exposure doesn`t necessarily mean crawling into your den and hibernating until it`s over. Blocking entry to your sinus cavity is a great way to start. That`s why you see so many people around this time of year wearing masks. While it`s questionable how much they protect you from getting sick, they are essential if you want to keep pollen off your face.
If you suffer from itchy eyes, you might want to pick up a pair of pollen guard glasses. They`ve started making them a bit more subtle and less like goggles if that`s something you are concerned about.

Pollen-Proof Your Environment
To feel your best, it`s important to do whatever you can to create pollen-free environments. Until the season is over, keep windows closed to prevent pollen from entering. Do laundry frequently and hang clothes indoors to keep pollen off your clothes. If you have the funds, an air purifier may also help. Try to mop your floors frequently to remove any pesky pollen that enters regardless of your efforts.

See a Doctor ASAP
It`s definitely worth talking to a doctor about what medications may work for you. The sooner, the better. They say that building up the medication in your system is better than waiting until it gets worse before coming in. There are over-the-counter options for milder options, but you`ll have to go to an allergy clinic to get the big guns. There are many different products available to help with allergies, like pills, creams, and nasal sprays. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor to find out what medications are right for you. There are even special procedures that can be done to alleviate symptoms or even cure you of your allergy entirely!
The magical combination for me has been my nasal spray, a daily medication, and avoiding going outside when the pollen is bad. I'm also looking into a laser therapy that is supposed to significantly improve your symptoms.

Hang in there everyone!



This article is written by:

United States




Hey guys! I’m Sydney, your friendly neighborhood foreigner! I moved to Japan in 2014, but I came to Kashiwa in 2019. Despite my name, I’m American not Australian.

When I first arrived in Japan, I was so relieved to find articles written by other foreigners about how to make my way in my new country. Now that I’ve been here a while, I’d like to share what I’ve learned as well and pay it forward.