I was so happy to find this thread because now I know for sure that I'm not crazy and that other people can relate to what I have been through and continue to deal with. I have never had allergies in my life and always wore perfumes, lotions, body sprays, etc. Last winter, out of nowhere, if I was exposed to any type of perfume, cologne, deodorant, cleaning chemicals, etc. I would begin to cough and gag uncontrollably and would get white spots on my tongue and this is the weirdest, i could taste the chemicals in my mouth. I am a teacher and I would have to run out of my classroom if anyone walked into my room with any toxic chemical (strong perfume or cologne), I would have to either get out or they would. This was extremely difficult being that students were there to receive an education and I couldn't have any of them wearing toxic stuff or I'd get physically ill. I went to so many doctor's and got nowhere but frustrated and fed up. I was told that I was hypersensitive, asthmatic, etc. Finally I went to an allergist/immunologist and they said that I had non-allergic rhinitis and prescribed flonase and astelin and I was put on allegra-D for the head congestion and sinus problems, headaches, etc. Nothing changed, only got worse. Although the allegra-D was a huge help for the stuffiness and I am still on that a year later and truthfully, I don't think I will ever be able to function without it. In the meantime, I continued to see this allergy/immunology doctor but with no results as far as relief from the whole chemical sensitivity. One day, I asked the allergy doctor about the shots that I was seeing all these patients come in and get. Because I had a skin test done and tested positive for 6 different things that I was allergic to, he agreed to let me try the immunology shots. My problem is still very present, however, I have been receiving the shots regularly for 9 months now and have a much better tolerance but the problem still exists. I no longer cough or gag like I used to but I do develop instant headaches. I also get a real itchy nose when I am exposed. I much rather deal with that and the headaches than having the coughing spells and fear that I'd stop breathing. Supposedly if I continue to get the shots, my immune system will continue to be built back up and I should have a much higher tolerance. I still can not go into department stores that have perfume, I have to wash my clothing seperate from my husband's and children's due to the fragrances etc.It's been really tough dealing with all of this, especially when people look at you like you are from outer space. I have had to avoid so many things because of the fact that I have no control over the air space in public. Oh and when this problem first started and I had no clue what was wrong with me, I went to my Principal in the school that I teach in and explained it all and she acted all supportive and said she would talk to my students but nothing really improved and when I asked her if I could call their parents and explain she said "No." Sorry for such a long post. I guess I just want all of you to know that there is someone else that can identify with you. I still have never been diagnosed and have no idea how I got this way or what caused it but I am assuming that it's an allergy to chemicals because the shots seem to be effective. Thank you all for listening. Look forward to talking with you.
Sherry B from PA :)