I'm a new forum member with a rather odd (or so it seems to me) problem. I'm hoping to get some advice/opinions on my issue. Of course, I know it's best to go to a doctor for medical advice and I don't expect that from a forum, just some opinions and information of what others who have had similar experiences may think. I've already been to the doctor regarding this issue and have a followup appointment on Tuesday.
I'm in my 20's, female and relatively healthy. I have fairly bad seasonal allergies (hayfever,etc) as well as cat allergies (severe itchy eyes, runny nose and even some wheezing). On Saturday Dec.18th I was at a friend's house with cats. Usually I'm ok if I don't touch the cats as she keeps the place clean. I was fine all day (there for about 4 hours). That evening once home, a few hours after my visit, I experienced some pretty severe wheezing symptoms and runny nose. It lasted for about 2 days, but was never severe enough to warrant a ER visit.
On Monday evening, I noticed my taste was starting to diminish. Throughout the week, my taste and smell both diminished (with some ups and downs). I felt no congestion and all my earlier symptoms from the cat allergies had disappeared. My taste and smell were at about 40-50% during that week. I had also started experiencing neck pain (could be unrelated as I have issues with upper shoulder/neck pain from carrying lots of tension). I went to the doctor to discuss my issues. He indicated it could be due to the allergies or it could be something else. He pointed out that my chiropractor visits, which I had recently started for my upper shoulder/neck pain, could have caused nerve damage of some sort. He seemed convinced that was it, especially since my last appointment was Monday AM and my taste/smell started to diminish Monday PM. He dismissed all sinus/allergy issues pretty quickly, gave me an anti-inflammatory and told me to come back in a week.
From Dec.24-31st I took a plane for a vacation. From the 24th-26th, my smell and taste got worst and by the 26th was at 0-5%. Neck pain went away completely by Dec.26th, but smell and taste were gone. I was miserable to say the least and worried about it being permanent, especially if it was due to nerve damage. I did feel pressure in my sinuses during the flight but nothing too extreme (it was the most pressure I've ever felt however). Also, on one particular day, the atmospheric pressure was twice of that at home and on that day I had particularly bad sinus pressure. My face even swelled up a little. The pressure is not really painful and comes and goes. It's not really a headache, just pressure on the sinuses of my cheekbones. I had no congestion though. When I press on my cheeks, my nasal passages would block and I couldn't breathe through my nose. This made me think my taste/smell were due to a sinus issue. I would press on the sinuses away from my nose and my nose would immediately be blocked!
I took a Claritin allergy-sinus pill from the 26th-30st (10mg lorantadine and 240 mg pseudoephedrine, once a day). By the 27th, my smell and taste started to return and by the 30st was back 95-100%. My nose felt very dry and I had some insomnia but no other side effects! All was GREAT! I stopped the Claritin on the 30th due to the dry nose/insomnia. That night, my taste/smell was down to 85%. I took another Claritin today (Jan 1st) and smell/taste is back to 95-100%. If I press on my sinuses now, I don't get the nasal blockage I got before.
So it seems to be a sinus thing. However, I have no congestion, no sinus headaches. I don't think it's a sinus infection as there's no fever, cough, etc. What could this be? I have a BSc and am doing an MSc in a health related field so I am well versed in how pseudophedrine works and about anatomy, so I'm really curious what this could be. Everything I've looked up online or in books doesn't make sense with my symptoms.
Sorry for the novel! Now that I'm part of the forums I hope to contribute responses as long as this long intro post