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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ubiquitous Allergies

This may sound like an old lady bitching about how things aren't as they used to be. When I was young that's how I took this sort of thing. But with age I've found out what they meant. Changes go on over a lifetime, some big, some small, some individual, some collective. Unless you choose complete ignorance you can't help but notice them.

Something I've noticed is the pandemic of allergies. Everyone has allergies now, even pets. In my parents' generation, the only allergy I remember any of them having was to Pennicillin. I inherited that one. But I seem to have developed a few that originate in my generation. Mold, dust, some foods, some cleaning products, some fragrances, several drugs. We live in a different world to the one my parents and grandparents came up in.

For one thing, we are the Guinea Pig generation. We got vaccines, food additives, fake foods, drugs, pollution, asbestos, lead, mercury, refined mixed cleaning solvents all over our homes and clothes- the full chemical age from the time we were young. Prior generations had some of these things but not to such a degree and not for their whole lives.

My grandmother Nana called doctors, "Pill pushers." That's truer these days than ever. In the last decade I've never left my doc's office without a prescription in hand. Everyone I know who goes to a doctor has at least one script, if not several. What the hell? It used to be that only shrinks prescribed psych meds, not anymore. It took a big deal to get a script for anything until the late 80s. Then they became Monopoly money. Now even children are on several meds at once from an early age. Who knows what that will do to them, and their descendants.

These are just things I've noticed. Correlation doesn't prove causation, but is grounds for investigation. Somebody ought to be studying this. Of course it probably won't happen because it could screw with profits. And in this world, it's profits before people, unto the seventh generation.


Geo. said...

Good points. Altho your data is subjective I don't discount the general conclusions it indicates. I gardened public places for many years, including athletic fields, and know a lot of coaches. Asthmatics seldom turned up in their classes and teams until 20, 25 years ago. Now it's not uncommon for half their charges to use inhalers. It's more than allergies, California coaches now get inservice training to deal with respiratory emergencies. Answer is definitely blowing in the wind.

Anonymous said...

I've been wondering if maybe the whole thing didn't start with the industrial revolution. People were confined in factories with unsafe conditions and the air in industrial areas was poisoned with the smoke belching from the factories. Perhaps it became obvious to industrialists and the government that people had to be "kept on their feet" somehow. Don't make things safer or healthier for your workers because that would be too expensive; rather, devise some chemicals that will mask their symptoms and keep them at their posts. Just a thought from my caffeine deprived brain this morning.

Austan said...

Geo- wow, I didn't know asthma was so common now.

Lawless- Meds are all about treating symptoms. And I agree, it's all about getting more work out of people.

SarcasticTestGuy said...

Provocative post...I've had one broiling in my mind for a while now.

Soon it'll be aired.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

"Correlation doesn't prove causation, but is grounds for investigation." Brilliantly expressed!

And you're right about the increase in allergies. Spring has sprung kinda early here, so already, it's deja-choo all over again ...