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    We live near Salem Oregon. My wife has severe grass and tree allergies. What can you tel me about allergies in the Central Pleateau (San Jose general area)? Thank You


    I am not an expert , but coming from Chicago, I never had any allergies back home . I live in the Central Valley now and have had all kinds of allergies, itchy eyes, nasal congestions , skin rashes, usually in the rainy season. Better bring plenty of your medication in case.


    I had the exact opposite happen. I’ve had hay fever/allergies all my life living in California, to the point of getting the shots and everything. Since moving to CR I have had none which really surprised me. I think it’s going to be an individual experience depending on what you’re allergic to.


    As CindyC says above, I think your mileage may vary. It might be a big problem for you or none at all. The good news is that medications here are much less expensive than in the U.S. and most are sold without the need of a physician’s prescription. And you should find perfectly competent allergist care in the local medical community. I wouldn’t let this concern be a deterrent.


    I would rather have an allergy in CR than the US. Why, because the Dr. and people at the pharmacy are much more caring and and friendly


    Dave’s answer is spot on. We live in Medford, Oregon, for one more year. Molly is an allergy sufferer. Every time we’ve been in CR, whether the Central Valley or on the Pacific, she’s had no problems at all. Of course, sometimes it takes time for new allergies to appear! Less expensive medical treatment, drugs, and the attitude – if you’re going to have allergies anyway, what better place to have them than Costa Rica. Besides, I’m tired of Medford’s 90+ degree summers, even if it is low humidity heat! Cental Valley, here I come!



    Hi, I’d like to chime in on allergies. Most people have fewer problems in the tropics and there is a very interesting reason for this. Tropical plants are some of the most advanced plants on earth and most plants are highly specialized for pollination by insects or animals. Therefore, you will find much fewer wind pollinated plants in the tropics. I found that I had chemical pollution allergies in San Jose (just as I do in Bangalore, Bangkok, Paris, Mexico City, and other polluted cities), but in well ventilated areas, no problems at all. However, be aware, that mold/mildew can be a problem in moist environments, so that is a type of allergy to be wary of.


    More on allergies in CR (and hope comments are stil timely to your posting) — I have severe allergies, to pollens, food, mold, etc. I experience fewer problems in CR, and I think it is because of the higher humidity. Research at the University of Arizona showed that most people reacted less to allergans in high humdity, compared to low humidity — possibly because the higher humidity kept mucous membranes healthier and moist.

    By the way, does anyone know a place in CR to get gluten-free flours and similar specialty foods for food intolerances? My husband and I have bought land near Agua Zarcas (near Cuidad Quesada), plan to move there soon. Thanks!


    Sorry for the late response, however I am having the same problems with allergies. I had allergies in the US but nothing like this..especially since rainy season. My skin (especially arms) is itching like crazy, itchy eyes, wheezing. Do you have any suggestions for this??? A couple of months ago I went to a pharmacy to get some type of anti-itch cream (like cortisone from US). The pharmacist appeared very confused and finally gave me a teeny tube of cream which cost the equivalent of about $8.00. It really didn’t even help that much!!


    Dear Deb3 — The wheezing suggests you probably should go to an allergist (M.D.) to be sure it isn’t asthma or another serious problem. They can do allergy tests. Mold causes me to have pinching or tightness in lungs, shortness of breath. Suggest trying to think of environmental differences associated with new symptoms — mold in your house or other daily/frequent activities? Some changes can “sneak up on you” like changes in diet resulting from switching to new foods that are more available/easier to get/cheaper or old foods are difficult to find/expensive. Also, is there a rash or bumps (or anything) associated with skin itching … or does skin just itch? Does it improve when you take antihistamines? Food allergies CAN cause the above and are really hard to pinpoint without doing a proper “elimination diet” — which is also quite a difficult regimen, so it is best to start with a good allergy skin test and physical exam to narrow down the possible causes. Myself, I would go to an M.D. allergist because they know the latest testing methods and broad experience with symptoms and likely causes in the CR environment. Hope this helps!


    I am interested in taking my mother to CR for her 74th b-day. Though she is not wheelchair bound and is not on O2, she does have emphysema and excema. She has some difficulty in walking long distances and up hills. I am interested in how the humidity and altitude will affect her breathing and skin condidtions. Please help.

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