Sick days aren't part of agriculture. In fact, for some parts of the year, our agriculturists are working with the very medium that is making them feel subpar.
Talking about haying with hay fever, Haylie Shipp recently interviewed Dr. Thomas Scarborough Jr. of Montana Allergy and Asthma Specialists. “Avoiding exposure is probably not going to happen in that circumstance,” said Scarborough.
Making the situation less miserable is possible. As an initial response to a hay allergy, Dr. Scarborough suggested to look at over-the-counter solutions. His recommendation is a long-acting, 24-hour oral anti-histamine. Brand names include Claritin®, Allegra®, and Zyrtec®. This may be enough for some people. Others might need to add nasal sprays or eye drops to the regimen. While over-the-counter solutions are the first step, he also warns that medications can be taken inappropriately, rendering them less effective.
As for making the call to go into the doctor, Scarborough says that ranchers can be very “stoic people” and hesitant to see a professional. If you have very severe symptoms that are impacting your quality of life, Scarborough encourages you to put the pride aside and go in.
“If you have cough, wheezing, shortness of breath,” said Scarborough, “not controlling that certainly can have long term effect.”
© Haylie Shipp 2015