I have suffered from (what I thought was) seasonal allergies for years, but have been able to combat those symptoms with benadryl and other OTCs. Over the past six months my allergies have gotten worse and symptoms now occasionally occur year round, instead of just in the spring.
More recntly I moved into a new/old home (new to me but built in the 30's). After suffering from congestion, headaches, and sneezing for two months in the home, I went to see an allergist for testing. He shot me up with small doses of dust, mold, pollen, pet dander, down, etc in the upper arm. My body did not react at all. He informed me that I do not have allergies, nor a propensity for allergic reactions, and that I was most likely suffering from a virus or cold. Yet, I still have symptoms.
I travel a lot and experience different symptoms depending on where I am visiting. A recent trip to Hawaii for a week at the begining of January provded total relief from all symptoms. Now back for a brief visit to San Diego, I've noticed the tree pollen is thick on the ground and I have had terrible headaches and some stuffyness. I assume that because the symptoms were gone and then returned means it's not a virus...?
I used a down comforter for a while and woke up every morning very stuffy. I felt much better once it was removed, but symptoms were not completely gone.
I wake up most mornings in my home with a stuffy nose, and generally get a headache later in the afternoon. This has become the routine.
Strangely, my mother has suffered from the same symptoms for over 20 years.
Does anyone have any sugestions for what I may be suffering from? Could my Allergist have misdiagnosed me? Do I have sinusitis or cronic sinusitis?
Should I go see an ENT? Another Allergist? Who?
I can relate...you see, the allergists have a clinical measurement as to what people have to fit in before they are considered "allergic".
I went through the total procedure from one doctor to the next until I finally saw an ENT who said...."we don't really know what to do for people like you, for you're all in a totally separate category!"
Although I didn't get much help...hearing that was a relief..it meant I wasn't "crazy"/
What worked for me was trying not to convince everyone I was having the problems and used medications, etc. to my advantage. I knew I would have the stuffiness forever, so just treat the symptoms as they show up.
But...you should see an ENT for sure and have your sinuses x-rayed to rule out anything wrong in the sinuses. As well, there are so many things we're exposed to in the environment, I think our bodies just haven't caught up yet.
Another thing...you've probably inherited the sensitive tendencies as your mother has...but something would have triggered it firstly. It could have been a cold, infection, even consistent exposure to something..then your body reacts consistently.
You might want to consider changing your diet somewhat..even eliminating some foods and see if that helps. Some over the counter meds such as Sudafed has been awesome for my stuffiness...
Check out your house and see if there are fragrances, dust, dryness, excess humidity..etc that might contribute to your symptoms.
I too used to get a headache and stuffiness later in the day when I was working. I made sure I got enough water, and sometimes that would help take the headache away.
Your travelling up and down with different elevations could definitely contribute to the symptoms. Maybe a medication such as Singulair (anti-leukotrine), or an antihistamine or even taking Sudafed (decongestant) if it doesn't contraindicate with other health issues would help you immensely.
Do you have a deviated septum? An ENT will help determine that. If so, surgery may be a good option for you and help with your symptoms.
I could go on and on, for I've dealt with this all my life and gotten little help from the medical profession. I just treat myself, but when I KNOW I have an infection, I get it dealt with quickly through the doctor.
I hope you can get it all figrued out. I also normally don't veer this direction, but if you're open to a naturopath, that might help light some foods that could be offensive.
You might also consider chiropractics or even accupuncture. I also see a chiro for neck problems that have been lifelong, and there has been an improvement in headaches and non-stuffiness. Whether it's all connected or coincidental, I couldn't say.
If there's anything else that comes to mind, I'll post again.
Let us know what happens.
It's all a matter of perspective!
After suffering from congestion, headaches, and sneezing for two months in the home, I went to see an allergist for testing. He shot me up with small doses of dust, mold, pollen, pet dander, down, etc in the upper arm. My body did not react at all. He informed me that I do not have allergies, nor a propensity for allergic reactions, and that I was most likely suffering from a virus or cold. Yet, I still have symptoms.
There are many incompetent doctors who make a good living giving out bad health treatments and bad health advice. An alergist is just someone who decided to become a doctor instead of a car mechanic. Some doctors NEVER get any good at what they do.
You have classic allergy symptoms. The most common allergy treatment is avoidance, and you have already found out that avoidance works for you. You can also get acupuncture treatments for allergies, and you can get allergy shots. Since your allergies are difficult to detect, you might consider asking a different allergist to give you a general purpose allergy shot, which contains most of the tree pollens, grass pollens and weed pollens for that area.
I took the general purpose allergy shots, and they really helped.
I went through the same thing. The allergist decided I had vasomotor rhinitis, but my regular doctor said "that just means you're allergic to something we can't test for."
So, IF vasomotor rhinitis is real, what it means is that ANY particles that get in your sinuses cause what appears to be an allergic reaction - smoke, dust, mold, perfume, anything. The common treatment is to rinse your sinuses daily with a saline spray, which you can get at the drugstore.
Choose the devil you don't know.
How long were you off your medication before being tested? Frankly there are a lot of doctors out there who test improperly. If you have been self-medicating yourself, for years, then you need to be off antihistimines for at least 2 weeks to a month before being tested.