Over the last month, I've had symptoms of what I think are allergies for the first time in my life (I'm 30). I have itchy, watery eyes after going outdoors, my nose is frequently runny, I feel my throat itch and then sneeze after nuzzling my little dog, and my tongue and lips and throat have gotten itchy and tight after eating certain fruits. In addition, both of my ears ache slightly all of the time.
I've never had any of these symptoms before (except the earache, when I've been sick!).
Some additional factors that might be relevant:
--the symptoms have been worse over the last few days than they've ever been. I'm currently at the beginning of my monthly period (I think I am, anyway, but I have a hormonal IUD that prevents me from actually bleeding, so it can be a little tricky to tell for sure).
--The symptoms improve *either* after taking an antihistamine or a nasal decongestant. They seem to improve faster with the nasal decongestant.
--I'm especially concerned because I've been eating the same white peaches over the last few days with no effect, but I had a peach (by itself) this afternoon and my throat started to swell slightly, in addition to the itching. Is this psychosomatic? I feel like I'm going crazy.
If not, what underlying factors might cause all of these allergy-like symptoms--to so many different things!--to appear at once?
It is difficult to predict any allergic responses. It is possible to develop allergic reaction to substances, to which we did not exhibit a reaction before. We can develop allergies to different things throughout our lifetimes as the allergy develops in response to a repeated stimulus. If you haven't undergone formal allergy testing, that might be beneficial.
Consult an allergy specialist. First he may do a blood IgE levels to see if they are raised. Next, he will do skin testing. This test is painless, in which a very small amount of certain allergens are pricked into the surface of your skin. If you have allergies, just a little swelling will occur where the allergen was introduced. Reactions occur within about 15 minutes. If needed more sensitive intradermal tests will be used in which a small amount of allergen is injected within the skin. Based on this he may plan for immunotherapy.
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