Allergies in Ecuador are common in most areas due to the tropical and damp, or dry and dusty, microclimates.
In the Amazon and the Sierra (Quito, Cuenca, Loja, etc.) areas, it tends to be cloudy and rainy much of the time, which contributes to mold and pollen allergies.
In the coastal region (Guayaquil, Olón, Montañita, Canoa, etc.), it tends to be tropical, humid and hot with several jungle microclimates, which leads to both mold and pollen allergies.
Salinas and Manta/Crucita are located in desert microclimates so it’s dryer and warmer, which translates to more pollen and dust. You’ll also encounter indoor dander allergies from keeping the house closed and running the air conditioner. Dust and dander aren’t nearly as common in the Sierra due to the cooler temps, less frequent use of air conditioning, and drafty homes.
Amelia doesn’t have daily issues with allergies, but I’ve taken either Zyrtec or Allegra for many years, long before we moved to Ecuador, for both mold and pollen. After living in Ecuador 4 years, I still take Zyrtec daily or my eyes swell and I sneeze non-stop.
In the past, we had friends mule Zyrtec in from the U.S., but we recently found generic Zyrtec at the neighborhood Fybeca pharmacy and bought 60 pills for $10. They were on sale and would normally cost $20 for 60 pills. It’s money well spent for me!
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