21 colds in 6 months! Chronic Respiratory Infections
I am a very healthy 49 year old woman, non-smoker. I finally went to the doctor after experiencing a series of colds (some minor and others more severe) over the period of 6 months--about 21 colds in all. The initial cold back in November, was one of the worst I've had and came on the heels of a flu virus. I told the doctor that I had not had a single symptom free day in 6 months. Her assessment? She said I had allergies. I admit I doubted her diagnosis. I have never had allergies before, and although the colds have been continuous, they seem to have a definite beginning (scratchy throat, a few sneezes) and a phasing out of the symptoms until it is almost gone, then the cycle starts all over again. Many of them have been both head and chest colds where I could feel it in my chest when I breathed and I didn't think allergies did that. I don't have a cough just some congestion in nose and chest. When the Dr listened to my lungs she said they were clear. I am not asthmatic. The Dr prescribed an allergy nasal spray which I did not fill because my symptoms are so minor they are not bothersome. I am merely concerned about the continuous nature of the symptoms.
In the past, I have taken Zinc lozenges at the onset of a cold and that has been very effective at chasing it off so that in most cases the symptoms disappear before the cold ever fully develops. Over the last 6 months the Zinc has not been effective in getting rid of the colds but seemed like it may have reduced the symptoms.
Does this sound like allergies? I do not have watery or itchy eyes, just a constant nasal, throat and chest congestion, but no cough. And if it is not allergies, what other lung or respiratory issues can cause these kinds of chronic symptoms? Or could the chronic colds be caused by a compromised immune system? What tests would be recommended? Standard blood work was done--all were normal, except a little low in Vitamin D. Any thoughts?
I do not know if this comment will help at all. But "vaso-motor rhinitis" is non-allergic. Anti-histamines usually do not help. And yes, when dealing with allergies the immune system is important. Some of the nasal sprays work.
Perhaps you should see a Pulmonologist or an ENT/Allergist.
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