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Allergy relief question/rant/vibes request (long, sorry)

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
So like a lot of people, my allergies have been acting up like crazy with this semi-spring weather we've been having. I used to complain about the seasonal sniffling and sneezing, but now I wish I had it back! My latest symptoms are shortness of breath and pain when I breathe .

I was put on a steroid inhaler last winter, but I hate the thing - it felt like I was getting chest colds all the time, and so I wouldn't use it when I didn't have symptoms. Then of course, when I would have symptoms, I'd had to live with it for two weeks while the steroids kicked in.

So I've been talking to various doctors in the health center here on campus trying to find me a non-steroid medication that works better. The first lady was great, unfortunately the medication she wrote me a prescription for (Singulair) didn't do a thing for me. :-( This new guy is a pain though - I think he's one of those doctors who doesn't like to say people have asthma even when they pretty much have all the symptoms. So he's got me trying allergy medication after allergy medication that I already knew made me sleepy.

I've been through a whole week of trying to stay awake on Zyrtec, and finally gave up and stopped taking it last night. Now he wants to put me on Claritin, which has also made me sleepy in the past. :-( How hard is it to listen to your patients when they say something doesn't work for them? But I'm supposed to give them a call again on Monday if it doesn't work out.

So does anyone have some home remedies, especially for the breathing pain? I've got an emergency inhaler for the shortness of breath, but the pain thing is really bothering me. And vibes would be appreciated, for me and everyone suffering through allergy season. It seems even the kitties have a touch of it! Thanks for listening to me rant!
post #2 of 18
Is the pain new since you saw the doctor? If not, didn't he have anything to say about it? I'm thinking it could indicate something like walking pneumonia... or at the very least, a more serious version of the asthma he doesn't think you have.

Have you ever been a smoker?

I don't know... pain while breathing strikes me as a serious symptom that might be worth a trip to the ER if you have good insurance. You could have an abcess on the lung... pleural effusion, like Tammy's little boy... lots of possibilities.

I'd go if you can!
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, I mentioned it to another doctor before (the joys of a campus clinic ) and the best he could tell me was I didn't have an infection in my lungs (which I already knew, no nasty stuff to cough up) and that it was probably just inflammation of the lungs from the allergies.

We'd had a good bit of rain in the past week or so, so the worst of my symptoms weren't happening when I went to see this doctor last Friday, so I didn't mention the pain to him then. When I call on Monday, I probably will. I don't think its anything really serious, but if it gets really bad, I do have pretty good insurance, though ER co-pay is a hundred bucks. My parents would help me pay for that if they had to though.

And nope, never smoked. The stuff always made me gag, even just be near someone smoking.
post #4 of 18
I suggest you find a doctor to take lung x-rays. You need to find out if you do have inflammation, where, and what is causing it. If you let it run unchecked, you could have other complications come out of it. You need to rule out pneumonia and bronchitis. Pain in the lungs is a serious wake-up call.

Do you think the cause could be mold? If it's been raining a lot lately, and your cats seem to have the same problem, maybe there is mold in your house.

I've had asthma all my live, extensive allergies, and many bouts of bronchitis and a few with pneumonia. The very best lung med, IMO, is Advair. I have NO symptoms when I use it. Good luck!
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yeah, the doctors at the student health center don't always take our symptoms seriously, I think. I thought they would do a lung xray the first time I mentioned it, and was rather surprised when they didn't. I have a doctor's appointment for something different on Monday already, but hopefully if this doesn't go away just from taking allergy medications, I'll get myself in with a doctor who actually pays attention and wants to figure things out.

He mentioned putting me on Advair, but I think he wants to run me through the gauntlet of allergy medications first. Good luck finding one other than Allegra that doesn't make me sleepy, I don't think it exists.

The mold is an interesting question...its always a possibility when you can't see every nook and cranny in your house. Billy's always had the snifflies though, so his is nothing new and actually he's sounded really good as of lately. Chay just has this cute kitty sneeze going on, just a little bit every few days or so. I'm more inclined to think its the amount of pollen in the air, but I might do some checking under the A/C and such to see if I notice anything. That's been known to drip before. Thanks for the suggestion!
post #6 of 18
DH husband has asthma and is on Advair, the stuff has done wonders for him. He's also on Singular, Allegra, and has a rescue inhaler.

If your doctor puts you on a medication do not stop taking it without consulting your doctor first! Even if you do not like having to take anything with a steroid in it, that is much better than serious damage to your lungs. iirc, Advair may have a steroid in it.

Chronic inflammation, if you have it, can cause scaring on your lungs. You really need to figure out what is causing your problems and get them treated.

Can you find a doctor in your area the specializes in respiratory diseases? You'd probably have much more luck getting a proper diagnosis and treatment plan started then at the student health center.
post #7 of 18
That would be my suggestion, too- ask for a referal to a pulmonologist, and one who specializes in asthma if possible to get a grip on this. Lung pain is not good! And not all cases of pneumonia and bronchitis result in coughing stuff up, especially if it's deep and inflamation is keeping you from getting it coughed up .

I have also had trouble finding an allergy med that doesn't knock me out. I was on prescription chlortrimaton, but then they came out with the 12 hour OTC, and the dosage in that is higher, and it makes me dingy and tired , so around I go again...

Advair 250 has made a huge difference for me, especially during allergy season (as has the Singulair- not nearly as many sinus infections, but not quite enough to just rely on it for allergies, especially seasonal). I don't have asthma, but I have cystic fibrosis, which also involves a lot of inflamation .

Also, one of my nebulized meds (Xopenex, which is refined Albuterol for people like me who have side effects from Albuterol) help a lot, and last longer than a rescue inhaler .

Don't hesitate- get this checked out asap .
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post

If your doctor puts you on a medication do not stop taking it without consulting your doctor first! Even if you do not like having to take anything with a steroid in it, that is much better than serious damage to your lungs. iirc, Advair may have a steroid in it.
I know, I should know better. I just really hated the stuff.

I'm on Claritin now, and if it doesn't make me sleepy, I'm assuming he's going to want to keep me on this for awhile to see if it helps, which I don't see how it will. I am definately going to at least talk to them about the breathing pain, that's something I can't ignore.

I'm going to have think harder about going off-campus, but my work as a grad student doesn't give me much free time, and getting out to a doctor's appointment means a 10 minute trek to my car, driving out there, the wait, another trek back....its a huge chunk out of my day, as opposed to a quick walk across campus to the clinic. But if they can't help me, its what I have to do. I just hate to do that when I'm already seeing a hematologist off-campus for another problem.

Seriously, I think my body just hates me.
post #9 of 18
Ugh, here are some vibes. I'm in it with you, sister! I'm on Allegra-D at the moment and it's doing its job better than Zytec and Claritin did with me...but we all have different systems. It was going to be either Allegra or Singulair. If anything, I've had the opposite problem, in that I get hyper on them. But I'm also sensitive to pseudoephedrine, to the tune of it making me shake back when I was a kid.

We've had a pollen burst this year, so it's at a historical record high. I've just been sucking down tea, taking my meds and keeping a box of tissues handy
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant View Post
We've had a pollen burst this year, so it's at a historical record high. I've just been sucking down tea, taking my meds and keeping a box of tissues handy
Sounds just like me! I've got hot water on right now for some tea. I can only take Allegra-D if I'm going to be busy, otherwise I get too jittery on it. Vibes for you as well, we'll get through this! Want to help me start blowing up all the flowers?
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
So as an update, I checked with the doctor this morning, and with my symptoms he thinks the breathing pain is due to inflammation in the cartilage around my ribs. So he's written me a recommendation for the campus physical therapists if I chose to go, but basically its some Tylenol and a way to relax and loosen up my back muscles to ease up the strain on my ribs.

So in essence, I just got prescribed a back rub. I can handle that. Now to find a willing person to do it...
post #12 of 18
For inhalers I use ADvair (non-steroidal) and ventilin. I can only use plain Bendryl for allergy relief now because it s the only thing safe for breastfeeding. Trust me I feel your pain! Hopefully the back rub will help!

Good luck.
post #13 of 18
Ughhh. I'm with you on this one, although I'm currently doing the "suffering in silence" thing (well, okay, "suffering in sniffly silence" would be more accurate). I had bad allergies a long, long time ago -- and asthma, too -- but hadn't been all that bad lately, and then just this past week I've been feeling like my body is trying to kill me. And it's not just nature stuff: it's like I'm suddenly allergic to every single thing. Things that were previously only minor irritations, like the cats and pollen, are big deals; things that were already pretty bad for me, like cigarette smoke and strong scents, are wiping me out now. I even got an allergic reaction from the new boots I've been wearing, and they're just made of pleather, which I was never allergic to before! And yesterday the office was filled with out-of-towners who all wore too much cologne or perfume -- I thought I was going to die (and I couldn't do anything about it, because there was no one to cover for me if I went home sick). This is so very unusual for me -- paging Dr. House!
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Aww, poor thing! Maybe all the pollen in the air is just making you extra-sensitive to other things. I hope you feel better soon!
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandtigress View Post
Aww, poor thing! Maybe all the pollen in the air is just making you extra-sensitive to other things. I hope you feel better soon!
Thanks! You, too!
post #16 of 18
This thread is making me itchy and sneezing and probably a few other of the 7 Dwarves.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirinae View Post
And yesterday the office was filled with out-of-towners who all wore too much cologne or perfume -- I thought I was going to die (and I couldn't do anything about it, because there was no one to cover for me if I went home sick). This is so very unusual for me -- paging Dr. House!
Whenever someone in our house gets sick and we don't know what it is we say the same exact thing....Dr. House!
post #18 of 18
I was prescribed Allegra for yrs for my allergies. Also somethings a steroid inhaler and drops for my itchy eyes. I was thinking if you had "lung pain" that you could have pulled a muscle.-do you cough alot?? Take a nice hot steamy shower or bath and elevate you head when sleeping too.
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