Thursday, July 21, 2005

Opening My Eyes to Beauty

Why would it be that allergic conjunctivitis makes it hard to think? Unfortunately, such is the case for me. But then fortunately for me, wonder drugs ameliorate the problem, even if they don't cure it. Yesterday I started on Patanol, a tiny little bottle of drops that cost $89.00. Definitely, the price is a wonder all by itself. On the other hand, the relief is sweet; I can see the computer screen again.

Allergies have causes, right? It took us a looong time to figure out the reason for this one, but we think we may be on the right track: the duct work is filled with moldy particulate, having accumulated over the years, and in summer when the air conditioning is on, the dehumidification is not enough to keep the mold nice and dry so it comes out of the ducts and hangs in the air or clings to handy surfaces in the house. One of the surfaces it appears to favor is my conjunctiva.

So the repairmen are coming next week. Not to fix my eyes, however. An unfortunately not to install the new ductwork but to take pictures of it and to see how many feet of the stuff we need. Only then will the real help come the following week to put in brand new ducts. At which point life becomes liveable again. Meanwhile, I am going to buy a dehumidifier. And whine a lot. Whining isn't a cure either but it does help pass the time.

Meanwhile, life outside is in the nineties, so it's only a good escape in small doses. Here's one irresistible 'dose':
Morning glories

Is there anything more lovely than a morning glory? These are Heavenly Blue. Behind them is a Brown Turkey fig, which is full of fruit this year.

I planted morning glories on the east, south, and west sides. This one, on the east (southeast, really) is second best. The one that grows in the south light is bigger but doesn't photograph as well, planted as it is between two clematis.

Morning glories require little care, but deadheading is a good idea for continual bloom. Not much bothers them, though this year the chewing insects are more bounteous than usual so a shot of Neem on occasion is helpful. If the leaves begin to yellow a bit, use some kind of iron product to green them up. Nitrogen by itself isn't advisable since it's blooms you want.

In the cooler Autumn weather morning glory flowers will remain open all day. As will my eyes when this damned conjunctivitis is cured.


At 10:01 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Mold is notorious for causing allergic conjunctivitis. Such an allergic reaction can also cause uveitis (aka iritis), which affects vision and can cause permanent damage. I found that Benadryl and/or Claritin were effective, but at one point, I had to be prescribed cortisone drops.

Having suffered from all of the above, I learned that I had to leave the house for the cleaning/replacement of the offending spots to take place. Because spores fly through the air, I stayed away for at least 3 days. That amount of time allows for the spores to settle and then be vacuumed up. A water-canister vac (such as Rainbow) works best so that the spores don't continue to be spread during the cleaning process.

My cousin uses one of those Sharper Image filters. Though not proven to be effective, that kind of unit works for HER.

Enjoy the morning glories! Even though they may be classified as a weed, I love them. I let my vines grow where they will. Unfortunately, I have the plainer ones--white--but growing up, I enjoyed the fuchia ones, which grew all over our garden fence.

At 10:37 AM, Blogger Dymphna said...

Perfect word choice: "notorious -- for mold, I mean.

We are getting rid of the source by having the crawl space under our house lined and having all the duct work replaced. I think anyone who suffers from mold problems in the Southeast ought to have duct work replaced periodically.

Since I only have this during the humid months, I'll also install some kind of dehumidifier. Of course, in the winter we have to humidify everything or any body part slightly resembling a mucous membrane turns to sandpaper. Always having to tweak what Mother Nature hands out...
I agree that air filters don't really work, but there's a lot to be said for the placebo effect, isn't there? I use anything that works for me!

I've never used cortisone eye drops, though I do use it as a spray for my asthma which is on-going. However, you made me curious, so I looked up Patanol, my 5mL for $89.00 medicine and it's a glorified anti-histamine, to wit:

PATANOLĀ® (olopatadine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution) 0.1% is a sterile ophthalmic solution containing olopatadine, a relatively selective H1 -receptor antagonist and inhibitor of histamine release from the mast
cell for topical administration to the eyes. Olopatadine hydrochloride is a white, crystalline, water-soluble powder with a molecular weight of 373.88

It works for conjunctivitis for me when the Benadryl and Claritin and Zyrtec have no effect. Which is July and August. But this will be the last one, since they're repairing the source of the problem.

The white morning glories may be bind weed, which is a close cousin. They're invasive. The Heavenly Blue would be less so since they're a developed hybrid. I've had to nurse these guys along a bit since we've had a most buggy summer and they're really getting eaten. I think it's white flies, though I haven't looked too closely.

I've seen wild morning fact, the Baron, who is a landscape painter, loves them...but the flower is smaller and the colors vary. None of them have that deep blue of the hybrids. But then I like weeds: I actually grow Queen Anne's Lace and Joe Pye weed and coreopsis, all of which dot the roadsides around here. Also butterfly weed.

Thanks for sharing my misery! Nice to have my eyes open again.

At 10:50 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Yes, I think what I've got is bindweed.

Now I understand why the photo you put up is such a vivid blue. A hybrid!

The morning glories of my youth were of the wild variety. And, yes, they had smaller blooms.

I wish that I had some Queen Anne's Lace. Lovely, even if it is classified as a weed.

Best wishes for your healing. The ductwork should help, although an allergy flare-up can linger beyond the removal of the source.

At 11:40 PM, Blogger Dymphna said...

Heavenly Blue is a case where store-boughten is better...when they are about to close, they get a streak of magenta thru them. Quite amazing. And then they fold.

Queen Anne's Lace is easy to establish. Pick some of the seed heads, or even the flowers and let them dry. Toss them wherever you want flowers. Put them to the back, though, as they are tall and need other things to lean against. They don't flop over, but they look kind of stark by themselves. Yarrow is good, especially the red. And any kind of rudbeckia provides great contrast in form and color.


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