I have been getting pollen allergies increasing in severity for the last 5 years or so. This years tree pollen season has started here, and I'm getting my butt kicked. What is really worrying me is that I seem to be getting a systemic reaction to it now. I am taking a daily 10mg loratadine which just about lets me see and breathe, cuts nasal irritation, eye itchiness and watering, but still have puffiness and can still "feel" the effects... fine you say, you're good... no, this is with VERY limited exposure by staying indoors with the windows closed and the furnace aircleaner running... 10 minutes exposure in anything more than low-mid levels has me back in the house, short of breath, dizzy, eyes puffing, knees going, skin starting to prickle, and then my stomach will be cramping, face will flush, and my lips begin to numb a little. I have been taking 1st gen short acting antihistamines to control this on top of the loratadine, currently a chlorpheniramine/pseudoephredine/acetominophen combination seems to just about fix it if I sit quiet for an hour. A couple of times in the past week I've had the feeling I really need to lie down, with extreme tiredness and weakness and fell asleep for a couple of hours.
My symptoms to me appear to be suggesting 1st stage anaphylactic or anaphylactoid shock, which would appear to be very unusual for pollen allergies. I can find no helpful advice thus far online. I had a fairly harsh allergy season last year and signed up with a doctor, who proved useless, gave me a physical and pronounced me A-1, hardly surprising, by the time I got the appointment the pollen had been over for 2 weeks. She also didn't appear to be believing a word I said, and offered no help or advice. Doctors here are oversubscribed and there are waiting lists. I can go to an urgent care clinic or an emergency room, wait two weeks to a month to see that waste of a stethoscope or wait months to get accepted by another family doctor.
Anyway, it feels like I very barely have this under control, with as much avoidance as I can, and I'm stuck indoors too weak and dizzy to do anything. I don't know what to do because from everything I find online it appears there is very little that can be done immediately, no further prophylactics, (BTW I'm also saline rinsing several times a day) and I'm fairly sure that another try at this "Doctor" won't do any good for getting referred for testing and shots. What can happen otherwise? I've gotta be outside an hour to get to the urgent care clinic, so I'm nervous about making it, and what would happen there? They give me an epi shot? Which by the way would not impress my "Doctor" one jot, because in mentioning my previous few clinic visits, she basically said "Well you couldn't have had that, they don't know what they're doing there" (Being strep throat, sinus infections etc)
So I'm getting really frustrated, I have responsibilities to attend to and can't get things done, looks like this afternoon is gonna get wasted on another doze, feeling really hot right now, running 101 on the forehead with a dose of acetominophen in me.
Any ideas? I'm gonna need a "bubble" if this keeps up.
So sorry you are going through this awful situation right now. My daughters are severely allergic but not as bad as you describe.
Would wearing a good fitting face mask outside help at all? Also, you may want to try avoiding foods that cross react with the pollen you are severely allergic to ?? Ask your Dr if that is ok to do .... it may help reduce the reactions you get being exposed if what you ingest isn't cross reacting too, especially during pollen season.
Thankfully we've had some rain and I'm at least feeling like death warmed up now. I've been thinking about the facemask option, not all that easy to find something that will work well, been trying for years to find something that works for me for sanding and spray painting, but nothing seals around the top of my nose very well. I think it would perhaps cut pollen exposure quite a bit, but not cut it to the extent I could spend significant amount of time outdoors, due to leakage.
I've been wondering about food cross reactions, I highly suspect raw peppers and tomatoes, so avoid those. I'm also suspicious of citrus in ragweed season but it doesn't "feel" like it's a problem in tree pollen season. What makes it difficult to figure out, is I think I'm having blood pressure drops with the pollen reaction, which seems to make me more prone to "postprandial hypotension" which is where when you eat, all the blood rushes to your guts to help process it and leaves you lacking elsewhere. This means that whatever I eat I seem to feel extremely dopey so it's hard to figure out whether avoiding any particular foods is working.
Also problematic is that any and all of the antihistamines and decongestants seem to leech me of electrolytes very rapidly, and my water balance goes all to hell also. So it becomes a problem to get enough fruits, juices and veggies to replace electrolytes, and also enough carbs to help water retention, without checking each and every one for potential cross reactions with whatever pollens might be affecting me. I need to get a Doctor that will refer me for testing so I can find out for sure what needs avoiding.
Sometimes I give up and just starve for the day, but that's hardly a long term solution.
Has anyone got any good references for known cross-reactions with tree pollens? The stuff I came across last was rather vague.
Oh BTW I am unsure whether any GI symptoms (stomach cramps, nausea) are due to any foods at all, due to seeming to be unable to avoid ingesting a lot of mucus off my sinuses and chest. I get a lot of post-nasal clearance and have a hard time blowing anything out, and whatever I cough most often only comes as far as the back of my throat and gets swallowed. So it seems pretty much all of the pollen that gets into my nose and lungs ends up swallowed. I have made conscious efforts to attempt to expel more but they don't seem to be particularly effective.
My Doctor thinks I once sneezed twice in the same day and got hypochondriac about it. Need to find one I can have a meaningful dialogue with, like "Hi, I've got a problem" "Oh, let's investigate it then" rather than "Hi, I've got a problem." "No you don't, go away"
Thanks for the link, most interesting.
What I'm getting though is that Birch is the tree pollen most likely to provoke any OAS, whereas I am fairly sure that Maple is my main problem, we've not had any Birch count showing locally on the reports yet, (Mid-Late April is supposed to be start of season here) I've barely got any Birch in my area, but plenty of Maple.
Though I had no idea that latex allergy made one OAS prone. I have found myself "sensitive" to latex in the past, but have not had a severe reaction to it yet. I get itchy hands in latex gloves, and some irritation round underwear lines in summer which is hard to distinguish from heat rash.
I have no idea if you'll get this, but I was curious how you have been doing. I could have written your post almost word for word. I feel very isolated in how terrible I am feeling. So many people say "it's just allergies" But it's like the flu for me.
It's been two years since you posted, if you get this, can you let me know how you are doing. Did you figure out what was happening with you?
For what it's worth - me too! I had skin prick test after having to go to Urgent center for severe rash and shortness of breath - while on Benedryl at night, Claritin, Pepcid and sudafed during the day. Test said many mild to moderate pollen reactions, but I dont think she realized if all those are out at once my body can't handle it. May is hell month. Oak skin prick reaction also lasted 3 days, which isnt supposed to happen. Many doctors think allergic reaction have to present in a classic text book style or they aren't real :(
In addition to meds I'm adding quercetin and stinging nettle daily.
Hi, I have the exact same thing with Jacaranda. My doctor seems to think I am also imagining things as he's never heard of anything like this. I do not have any nasal symptoms when I am exposed, more of a "systemic" reaction to my entire body. My face, eyes and lips mostly, swelled up like Will Smith in Hitch last time I was around the tree and I get very dizzy and tired - almost as if I'm drunk. Did you ever find out any more information? I am set to go to a wedding in Spain and struggling with whether or not it is safe to expose myself to a huge amount of the Jacaranda during full bloom. I have epi pins but that doesn't exactly make me feel safe. Please let me know as you are the only person I have found who has identical symptoms!!!
I also have a systemic reaction like you describe and know it is real. It is very frustrating when no one understands. I try to stay indoors with doors and windows closed. At wit's end. Doctors know there is no cure.
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