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Thread: Allergic to NZ

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Vermont, USA --> Wellington
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    159

    Default Allergic to NZ

    I know this isn't a forum for medical advice, but I'm just wondering if any expats experienced any physical symptoms after arriving here. I've never been an allergic person, but since I've been here, I've just had a lot of weird stuff going on. Nothing major -- soar throat, heartburn, sour stomach -- I just never feel 100%. I heard that often migrants have trouble adjusting to whatever is different in the air here. Anyone experienced this? I do intend to see a doctor soon.

    Might be the housing, too, but my office and both rentals I've lived in have been pretty dry and well ventilated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Chch, NZ
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    2,220

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    Go see an allergy specialist. They're expensive but well worth the visit. They'll do all sorts of skin prick tests. Myself i'm highly allergic to silver birch tree pollen and rye grass. I went through de-sensitisation several years ago and don't regret it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    36,796

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    You're not alone.

    Various thoughts.

    It's possible to have slight allergic reactions, even if you haven't had before, because your system is encountering a whole new range of flora and fauna - it doesn't have to be anything in the buildings. Medications sometimes helps, and/or you get used to all the new stimuli.

    You don't mention this, but often, some incomers are very attractive to NZ biting insects - my partner turned out to be a magnet for tiny Auckland mosquitoes, and VERY reactive to the bites, too. Pharmacists can help with the specific repellents, and soothing cream. (Our one was nice, but couldn't help chuckling, 'Oh, dear, oh, dear, that British skin...') We found that a UV insect trap light in the bedroom helped - caught dozens of the little so-and-sos we hadn't even seen.

    Also, you're in a new 'germ pool': when we're with a familiar set of people, we all tend to have caught all the minor illnesses each person brings from their home background, and so have immunity, but you haven't got your immunities to your new contacts and 'their' bugs yet. (The extreme version of this is going down when you first arrive with everything all the people on your plane had, as the air is circulating all the time during the flight.)

    The doctor will probably be able to help with the symptoms, and check there's nothing serious going on. More likely, like most people, you will acclimatize over time. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    California to Tasman Bay
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    1,137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A.C. Slater View Post
    I know this isn't a forum for medical advice, but I'm just wondering if any expats experienced any physical symptoms after arriving here.
    Yes. Our whole family was sick for a little over a year with various this and that when we first moved here. I thought I would never get better but I haven't been sick for a year (touch wood).

    I find that I now have allergies similar to my husband who was the only person with regular allergies before. My doctor told me that it's common for people to develop allergies as an adult. My husband used to have really bad reactions once in a while in the States but, here, even though he's originally from here, he has them way more often. He works in the bush so, that contributes to it as he has tree pollen allergies.

    Also, I used to have a really bad reaction to mosquito and sandfly bites. One bite would cause my whole foot or hand to become inflamed and swollen. Now, only sandflies do this and not to the extent they used to.

    One other thing to check, your water supply. Do you have a tank?
    https://www.healthed.govt.nz/resourc...water#moreinfo

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex, UK
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    My children's asthma got worse when we moved here, and we added a few allergies as well. The paediatrician we saw said it was quite normal when moving here, because you are exposed (as mentioned above) to new plants, and the climate can be quite bad for asthma.

    The allergies have now kind of settled at a bearable level, the asthma is still worse than it was in before we moved here.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    NZ (Auckland; via Canada)
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    When I moved to the West coast from the East coast in North America I developed hay fever for the first time. When I moved to Australia my psoraisis improved. Since I arrived in NZ in Sept 2012 I've had one brutal flu--worst in almost 2 decades. Lots of colds and sniffles that first year as well. Got a flu shot last winter (and will get one this year shortly), which always seems to help regardless of where I live.

    Agree with others; might be worth a referral to an allergist if it's not improving.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    UK
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    25

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    I take an interest in health, and I've read quite a lot of forum posts about it. It probably won't you in your suffering, but someone did a poll a bit over a year ago asking about illness after moving to New Zealand and got this, although with a limited number of responses.

    More than usual 33.33%

    Same as usual 38.89%

    Less than usual 27.78%

    http://www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=39232

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Vermont, USA --> Wellington
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    Default

    This is so awesome. Thank you, guys. This forum is such a great resource!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Hi, I'm a brand new arrival in Auckland from California with my family. Here for a two year work stint to see how things go and I've been experiencing a lot of what A.C. Slater described. Basically I feel like I have the flu (hot, achey, tired) plus heartburn and throbbing/tired eyes. It started a month after arrival in December and has been with me 2 weeks now. Pretty depressed wondering if this is what NZ is going to be like for me. Hoping A.C. Slater is still monitoring this thread and can update on his situation.

    We are currently in a VERY musty Ponsonby house but moving to our permanent digs in a week. Hoping that helps the situation. Any insights much appreciated.

    Thanks Robert

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,796

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    Sorry to hear you're not too good. If the move doesn't make a difference, in your place I'd see a doctor. Of course, having flu symptoms for two weeks could just mean you have the flu, which is a nasty illness but should have run its course soon.

    A.C. Slater is still around - if he doesn't see this thread immediately, you could PM him.

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