More allergies prove it ain't easy bein' green

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It's popular to blame global warming for everything that goes wrong in the environment today, from receding ice caps to hurricanes, but the latest is a little closer to home.

If you're like many of us, you may have noticed you're suffered from itchy eyes, runny nose and other symptoms of hay fever, perhaps more than you have in years past.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology has jumped on the band wagon, saying it's linked climate change to "longer pollen seasons, greater exposure and increased disease burden for late summer weeds, such as ragweed."

As carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, the scientists say, pollen production increases 60 to 90 percent in some varieties of ragweed.

And not only is there more pollen -- which affects more than 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies to ragweed -- but it's more potent, according to a U.S.D.A. expert.

That means it's probably only going to get worse for more people.

What can we do?

For one, stay indoors from 5 to 10 a.m. -- not something anyone with a regular job can do, keep your windows closed, take a shower before bed to remove pollen from your hair and face and keep it off the sheets, and change clothes after you spend time outdoors.

But the pollen situation also creates a kind of Catch-22 -- to avoid it, you need to dry your clothes in a drier and not hang them on a line; and run your air conditioner more instead of attic fans, and avoid walking or bicycling to work.

So do we have to put up with allergies to do our bit for the environment?

To quote Kermit the Frog: It ain't easy bein' green.

'Filling Life With Love'

That's the theme of the 14th annual National Assisted Living Week, which began Sunday on Grandparents Day and runs through Saturday.

Special advertisements this week will spotlight the vital role assisted living plays in caring for our nation's seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Moments between caregivers and residents, their relatives and friends, as well as individuals from the community together create many special moments that enrich residents' lives and fill them with love.

Assisted living was founded on the principle of delivering care and services based on the individual resident's needs and desires. These services also enhance the resident's emotional, intellectual, physical, social and spiritual well-being so they can live as independently as possible with the highest quality of life.

If you are or know someone in assisted living, you know how much of a difference the dedicated staff of such a facility can make. Join us in saluting them this National Assisted Living Week.

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