I've always had problems with skin allergies, but up until this year, my respiratory allergies have been trivial. Then at the beginning of May, I abruptly developed asthma and began having a very hard time breathing whenever I went outside. So, went to an allergist, got skin testing, found that I'm allergic to trees, cats, severely to grass, and I'm not allergic to anything else in the test box. Which made sense, because in prior years I've had mild itchiness and sniffles between the beginning of April and the end of August.
I've had an absurd amount of trouble finding medicines that work without bad side effects, such as severe stomach upset. Still, I kept my eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel. I was certain my asthma would improve once the grass pollen season ended, which it has, give or take a few grains.
AAAAND, this week has been major flare time, especially the past 24 hours. And my face has been itching, too, so it's definitely an allergy. I've even been sniffling some, despite the fine action of my Flonase. What's blooming? Weeds. Just beginning their season.
Am I reacting to something that wasn't in the allergy tests? Or could I have developed this allergy since May? Certainly I didn't have it last year! I've never had hay fever symptoms after Labor Day, ever.
There are two reasons this upsets me:
1) I need to be well now. The next few months are going to be difficult at work, and even with the new allergy troubles, I've been counting on reasonable health once fall arrived.
2) If I'm growing allergies this fast, what's next?
I'm going to the allergy doctor again this week, but we're beginning to run out of drug options, and those that are left are far from ideal. (Singular, systemic steroids)
I understand. Right now ragweed has hit the east coast and I am allergic to that, so things are acting up for me too. I really dont' seem to have any season free anymore. It is annoying to say the least. I dont' take anything, the meds don't seem to help me much anyway, so I just deal with it as unpleasant as it is. Good luck to you and let me know how you are doing.
Jane: I think it's different with all of us. For me, there hasn't been a great deal of change over the decades. I've had many tests over the last 50 years or so - all without any major changes outside of a shift of dog allergies to further down the list and cat ones further up the list. Ragweed has always been tops on my Hit Parade.
Back in the day, the tests had a different scoring mechanism. There were at least 12 sizes but now there are just 4. So it's a little hard for me to tell where things stand today as compared to 30 years ago but, for the most part, it's really all stayed the same.
Now, drug allergies are an entirely different subject! Those just crop up over night for me and are total and complete.
Oh, the drug allergies are crazy. I've had antibiotics six times in my life, twice as a baby and the other four within the last dozen years. I have allergies to three major classes of antibiotics. At this point, I won't even take antibiotics for anything that doesn't stand a decent chance of killing me, lest I find myself with pneumonia or something and no way to treat it. (I'm still only 29, running out of antibiotic options is a real possibility.)
So apparently I'm allergic to ragweed now, too, or else something that has the same season. Joy. Especially annoying since I just started the allergy shots six weeks ago, and this one wasn't in it! Well, maybe we can add it in now.
I'm just getting really frustrated and depressed by all of this. I try to tell myself that there are still options, that maybe by next year the shots will take effect and I'll feel better, but I'm beginning to lose perspective.
Well, at least I got my flu shot today. A bunch of pharmacies already have them in stock, and I knew if I waited any longer I'd get too busy to think of it. Oh, and I ran into a work friend while waiting for it, so the day was not wasted.
I can relate with your frustrations. When you are at the point you are, it can really wear on you mentally as well as physically. Personally, when I'm in a flare, things that would otherwise not be much to deal with normally can easily trigger symptoms and be more severe. Just hang in there.
I developed allergies as an adult. Over the years, I've picked up new ones. I haven't found any pattern to them developing though. I do know when I travel from my home area, there always seems to be something new I'm allergic to.
In response to your question in general, I think it really varies by person. Some people only develop allergies to a few things while others delvelop tons of them.
Many of my new allergies, I'm able to treat with my regular regimine. Not all of them though. Some really make me miserable. I will say that I'm a couple years into my second round of immunotherapy and it has helped with the severity of some of my allergies.
New ones, like the adhesive allergy I developed a few years ago are really really annoying. I don't always have good alternates to the adhesives for bandaging.
On the flip side of things, some years are better for my allergies than others. Hopefully the next year will be kinder to you.
As for the allergy testing, I've had the skin ***** kind a few times. My most recent test was the kind where they inject the allergens under the skin. While both work well, I preferred the injection type because it seemed to identify the severity of the allergens well for me.
During my first round of immunotherapy, I just had one vial of syrum. For my current round of immunotherapy, I have two vials that are treating 28 of my worst allergens. I'm seeing the results this year with fewer sinus infections and fewer bad allergy days. I did get a sinus infection last month though due to allergies so it isn't 100% though. Anything that helps is good though.
I don't know what I'd do if I had the severity of antibiotic allergies you do. I have a true allergy to 1 and 2 others that I don't take because of the side effects. I tend to be on some sort of antibiotics about 6 times a year though, mostly due to sinus and upper respiratory problems that tend to linger when I get them.
As for your allergy med options, Singulair isn't all that bad. For me, it works well in combination with other allergy meds, but I wouldn't recommend it as your only allergy med if you have bad allergies.
It's good you got your flu shot. Do you tend to get pneumonia? My Pulmonologist stresses that everyone with asthma should have a Pneumonia shot. I have horse allergies though and am allergic to something in that shot so I can't get one.
The world is witnessing and experiencing an explosion of new Microfibers, Nanotechnology, new plastics and newly developed chemicals. These are used in anything from furniture, to clothes, to toys, etc. causing indoor allergies to become much more of a problem than any other time in history, IMHO.
So...... staying inside to avoid outdoor allergies just makes us more at mercy of being closed in, and with the possibility of constant exposure to multiple allergens and irritants.
Adhesive, right, that's my other new allergy. I almost forgot about that one.
No, I'm very lucky in that I don't tend to get things like pneumonia or sinus infections. I've never taken antibiotics without unpleasant side effects, and only once without hives, so trying to keep it that way! Maybe I'll ask my doctor about the pneumonia shot. I want a pertussis shot, too, though that's a lower priority, most adults have partial immunity already.
Antihistamines severely upset my stomach, as do bronchiodilators. (Then again, so do asthma attacks.) Right now I'm on an inhaled steroid, 220 mcg twice a day. It kept me functional up until this latest flare. It hurts my throat, though, so I'm hoping, maybe, a lower dose of steroid plus Singular would help.
Possibly if I can get the stomach issues addressed, that will pull a thread out of the knot, and the rest will fall into manageable pieces. Or maybe I just need to manage work stress better, it can't hurt to try.
Hi everyone. I tend not to post here as I have severe allergies and have actually been accused of lying about all my allergies but I did post a warning about anaphylaxis and allergy shots earlier. Occasionally I'll post and so far, no one has run me off. I thank everyone for that.
You can develop an allergy at any age and and very fast. I get anaphylactoid reactions where I have a major allergic reaction without prior exposure. I never know exactly what is making me sick unless I go out and start sniffing....I know I've got something new in my garden that is making me miserable this summer. I need to find it and pull it out.
I get new food allergies at least twice a year and my list just keeps growing longer and longer.
I have over 40 drug allergies including every asthma drug out there and steroids. I'm an allergist's worst nightmare(according to my allergist). Now I hit a drug family and we don't even bother to try another one in the family.
Jane....I have allergies to all the tapes, even the non-allergic types. When they replaced my knees, they just covered me in gauze pads and wrapped me up with ACE bandages from toes to hips. Kept them on until the staples were removed and then left everything exposed.....no tape anywhere. Unfortunately they did use tape with my neck fusion and I broke out and ended up with ulcerated skin all over my neck. Made everyone worry about an infection....did they listen when I told them ALL tape...no. They listened later though.
Allergies don't get the respect they deserve. I know that even if I walk into a Mexican restaurant I will probably go into anaphylactic shock and unless I have my Epi-pen, I'll be dead before they can get to me. Capsacin allergy in hot peppers....gets aerosolized in cooking. And allergies don't get respect!
Everyone thinks that a bad allergy is hives and/wheezing, itchy eyes or vomiting and diarrhea with food allergies. But I get the cardiovascular effects.....my pulse goes way up and my BP crashes. It's starting to happen with more and more of my allergies. I've gone from the hives/etc to cardio-vascular collapse in a very short period of time. More and more the BP crashes and the pulse races with just plain old hay fever.
I've been through a lot of stuff in my life but am convinced it will be my allergies that will finally kill me. They deserve a lot more respect!
Good advice in the posting above. Carrying an Epi-pen is a must if you have allergy or asthma problems. I've never had to personally use mine, but I have had epi-shots at my dr's.
Jenny, you make me feel thankful that I don't have things worse than I do. I have to keep that in mind when I'm feeling down because I feel so bad. I totally feel allergies are underrated with regards to their impact on quality of life. Unless someone else has suffered from bad allergies, they just don't understand.
Jane, I say go for the Pertussis vaccine if you get a chance. I actually came down with Pertussis a few years back. It took forever to get a diagnosis because I started with a sinus infection and asthma flare first. Ironically the double round of antibiotics I had for the infection treated my Pertussis during my most contagious period. I cough enough. With the Pertussis, I coughed for 4 months straight, couldn't catch a good breath, pulled muscles and vomited because of the coughing. It is absolutely no fun. I got so run down that I picked up a viral infection and the flu before all was said and done.
BTW, I found out today that I'm allergic/sensitive to the antibiotic I'm currently on. It seems that I'm developing problems with antibiotics that were formerly safe for me. Been finding one or two a year for the last couple years.
I had my appointment today, and it was instructive.
1) Two puffs of Proventol HFA in a spacer is the greatest thing on the planet, and it's amazing how much less worried I am just knowing that I have it, knowing that whenever my breathing gets too uncomfortable I can just take it out and feel that way again.
2) They did more skin tests, focusing on allergens that could be bothering me right now, and got completely different results.
Ragweed, dust and one of the molds all came up positive, while all three were negative before. Trees were positive before but negative now. Then again, seasonal allergies which are out of season sometimes just don't show up.
I honestly don't think the mold and dust are new. Fresh-cut grass and dirty old rooms have always bugged me. No idea why the first test missed them.
3) He decided to switch me to Symbicort, because the Asmanex clearly wasn't cutting it this week. Not sure if I like that plan or not, we'll have to see how it goes.
Jenny, believe it or not my husband's allergic to peppers also. Even though his allergy is pretty mild, he has had problems just from people frying hot peppers while he was in the room.
Well, the hideous episode I was in from Saturday night to last night seems to be improving. I'm still sniffling, but I can breathe, so I don't care.
You mean I'm not the only one! Being allergic to hot peppers is tough because it seems like everyone is putting hot peppers in everything these days.
Tell him to let his docs know about it. There is a new technique with joint surgery(and possibly others) where they treat the tissues with capsaicin prior to closing up the wound to reduce pain after surgery.
My biggest fear with it...getting sprayed with "pepper spray" by the police. Doubt I'd live more than about 5 minutes if that happened. And if I went groping for an Epi-Pen, I can just see myself getting shot because they thought I was reaching for a gun. Have I watched too many TV shows? And you can't wear a Medic Alert bracelet for it...they would never check...they'd just spray. So I'm a very law abiding citizen and I stay away from any situation where there might be trouble in a crowd.
And I got the allergy from using all those "pain creams" that have capsaicin for my arthritis. Then ate some salsa and was covered with hives. The I had a sandwich that was supposed to have American cheese on it and instead I got pepper jack but didn't see the tiny pieces of jalapeno. One bite and I broke out in hives instantly and my throat closed up and my BP dove and my pulse went way up....all in a few minutes. Next time would be fatal without the epi.
With my husband, it's actually all peppers, hot, sweet, red, green, yellow, all of them. (Except black pepper, which is a completely unrelated plant.) We used to live up the street from a whole bunch of Korean restaurants, but we'd never go to them!
If you ever did get pepper sprayed, I'd just scream "Help! Allergic to pepper!" while you could still scream, THEN go for the epi-pen. Cops really aren't that likely to suspect a middle-aged woman in the middle of a crowd of going for a gun. Unfair to innocent young men, of course, but there you have it.
Also, crowds of people getting pepper-sprayed doesn't happen very often, unless you make a habit of brawling at rowdy underground bars or standing front and center at illegal protests. Police departments are more aware of things like people having bad reactions to pepper spray or tear gas or having heart failure from a Taser, and newer guidelines say they shouldn't use such "non-lethal" weapons unless they believe the target is dangerous.
Thanks Jane. Makes me feel even older to know I'd probably never be suspected of being a rabble rouser. I guess being a grandma, I should behave myself at all times. I guess no running down the street, buck naked, yelling obscenities. There goes my plans for Labor Day!
As for sweet peppers, I'm getting there with them too. And all blue fruits and most citrus. My sister has the blue fruits too. No blueberries or prunes or plums or blackberries and not even Bing cherries. And I LOVE blueberries and Bing cherries. Haven't tried blue potatoes but I'd assume them too...it's seems to be what makes them blue and I guess it's in the cherries too(although the cherries started it). So I bought some raspberries plants so I can eat lots of raspberries to try to get the benefits of berries. Red so far is okay.
I've always been told that new allergies can develope at any time, so it is very possible for a new one to crop up this quickly or even you had this allergy before and just didn't realize it. As far as how this is affecting your life, I completely understand. I guess all I can say is try to do what you can, and give yourself a break when you don't feel well enough to do other things. Until your allergies let up, if you are fortunate enough to have people in your life to help you, try to delegate some responsibilies to others. I pray that you feel better.
Thanks, CuriousLee. Lately I've been doing much better. The doctor changed all my asthma medicines--again--and it's possible we got them right this time. Just having a rescue inhaler that works is such a weight off my mind.