Chronic Lip Inflammation, Breathing Issues
I've been following this board for a while and thought I would post some recent symptoms and observations.
I am a 30 year old male with history of seasonal allergies, and allergy to dogs. Claritin was my antihistamine of choice, but the allergies were mostly an annoyance, not debilitating. I have always been somewhat athletic. Enjoy the outdoors, running, and weight lifting.
Over the past year, I have seemed to pick up sensitivities/allergies at a rapid pace, and I am not sure what to do. At the moment, I think I have the situation somewhat under control(until I develop my next allergy of course!) Here is the cliff’s notes, followed by the longer version:
1. Chronic lip irritation: (slight swelling, but mostly bumpy with pain). Not completely obvious to others, but I can feel a texture change. Sometimes a red ring will form on the outer edges of mouth. Feel the need to lick lips a lot, Not because they are dry, but to move around the discomfort. Lips get flaky/peel when irritation is healing. Happens within 20 minutes of skin contact. This has happened daily for 5 months.
Printer/Copier toner( on hands)
Carbuerator Cleaner (on arms and legs)
Smokeless tobacco/ Snuff(in mouth)
Christmas tree sap (on hands)
2. Chronic Throat Swelling: Feels like someone is squeezing your esophagus just between adams apple and your collar bone? Accompanied by coughing, and thick mucus production from the chest/throat. Happens within twenty minutes of inhaling irritant. Has been a daily occurrence for a month.
Some department stores
Some upholstered furniture(dustmites maybe)
Riding in the car(Opening windows helps)
Office buildings(specifically, my workplace)
Live Christmas Tree and cedar trees(just the smell triggers breathing issues)
3. Warm/ prickly feeling on the upper body. Like someone is randomly pricking you with a little needle. Mostly sclap/forhead, but also hands, arms, chest, and back. This has only happened on 3 occasions over the past 2 weeks.
Medical stuff done so far:
I have been to GP, allergist, and ENT.
Patch testing showed reaction to nickel and Thiuram(sp?) Mix(which is types of rubbers).
Blood test was positive for Dust mite allergy
Lungs did not sound like asthma according to 2 doctors. Spirometry was fine.
Had nasal endoscopy to look for VCD. Doctor said "does not look like classic VCD, but we did see irritation and mucus"
ALL OF THE DOCTORS KEEP SAYING IT’s PROBALY STRESS!!! However, even though my job can be a little stressful at times… I keep saying that I’m really not stressed about anything until I can't breathe or my lips feel like hamburger for 8 hours straight!
I wear gloves and an N95 facemask in the office.
I have also been on Xyzal for almost 2 weeks.
This combination of things seems to make the breathing issues and lip irritation mostly tolerable(for now at least!)
Also have an Epi Pen
In January 2012, I started a new job. After 2 weeks I noticed I was getting flushed at random times during the day and coworkers were noticing as well. After a few days of observation, I noticed the flushed feeling would happen after handling papers. After weeks of trial and error, I came to the realization that I was sensitive to some printer inks. Specifically, it seems to be printers that use dry toners. I started wearing Nitrile gloves while handling the papers and the flushing went away.
In May 2012, I switched brands of smokeless tobacco and noticed that a my lips got very sensitive and a slight rash started to develop around the edges of my mouth, within 20 minutes of putting the snuff in my mouth. The rash went away within hours after I got rid of that can.
Fast forward to August, I was still experiencing the lip irritation occasionally, but then I noticed that my lips would get inflamed when I was around the copier. It got to the point where by the end of the work week, my lips would feel like hamburger but would mostly heal over the weekend. This continued up until last week. Then I thought maybe my nitrile gloves were causing a reaction, so I bought cotton gloves to wear underneath. After a week of doing that I honestly think it helped. My lip irritation seems to almost be gone. However, I still react to touching printed paper bare handed.
In November, I was making copies and noticed that it felt like my chest was getting tight, and I couldn't breathe. THis continued to happen over the next few days, and I finally told my supervisor that I wanted to try wearing a facemask to rule out environmental triggers .
I purchased a dust mask (rated N95) from Lowe’s Home Improvement. Wore it in the office for 3 weeks and had approximately a 90 percent improvement with breathing problems.
In mid-December, I came down with the flu. After laying in the bed for 5 days, I noticed the lip inflammation was happening when I would lay down, and then when I would sit on my couch. It was also getting harder to breathe at home.
Since then, I notice throat tightening when driving in the car, in department stores, in other office buildings, and around live Christmas trees.
-Has anyone had these types of issues and they go away over time?
-Has anyone had these issues at a job, and how did it work out long term?
Any advice would be appreciated