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Gesundheit! Wishing you health…in German

Suddenly you’re sneezing, have a runny nose and itchy, watery eyes. You’re a healthy adult and you’ve never had allergies before, what could be happening?

Well, did you recently move to a new area or have the seasons been shifting, snowing and freezing less or staying cold later into the spring? Allergy/Immunology Specialist Stanley Horner, DO, has some news for you; environmental allergies can develop during anytime of your life! Although most people are predisposed whether to have or have not allergies; no one is completely immune.

Why would you suddenly be plagued by these symptoms? Consider:

  • Moving States: Native plants are different in various parts of the country. When your body is exposed to something new, it can trigger an advanced immune response, i.e. allergies.
  • High Industry area: Various manufacturing facilities can put foreign particles in the air, which could give your nose an unpleasant tickle, in more ways than one!
  • Spring Cleaning: As a child, you probably didn’t spend much time getting up close and personal with the mold in the bathtub or dust bunnies in the basement. Yet another wonderful side effect of adulthood.
  • Shifting Seasons: Much like your schedule can get overcrowded, when it stays colder late into the spring it can disrupt the pollen cycle of plants. When trees hold off on releasing pollen due to cold, suddenly their release overlaps with other flowers and shrubs putting your pollen meter into overdrive.

If people are suddenly wishing you Gesundheit, you may or may not have allergies. Wishing someone well after they sneeze has been around since the early 1900s. The idea was that a sneeze was a prelude to illness so wishing someone health or luck with the illness was polite. Thankfully, that good etiquette is still around today. But if you’re feeling a little wary from the 50 times you’ve heard it in a day, consider an appointment with an allergist. A proper diagnosis is key in determining if your symptoms are truly related to allergies. Once your allergens are identified, we can choose the right treatment for your symptoms.

Until then, alles gute – German for all the best because spring will eventually come and we hope it doesn’t have you buying tissues in bulk!

Published Mar 30, 2017

Lea Rice

Registered Dietitian Lea Rice provides inpatient and outpatient nutrition education, helping patients understand how their diet affects their overall health and well-being; including counseling patients with chronic health conditions. She is very involved in the community and enjoys sharing evidence-based nutrition information.

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