Sunday, March 25, 2012

Allergy relief

Note: This post might be kind of dull unless you are suffering with spring allergies and want some ideas on how to deal with them.

Vickie's post on her equilibrium problem reminded me of just how bad I was feeling last spring. I have both seasonal (pollen, mostly) and year-round (cats and dust mites) allergies.  One of my symptoms was that my ears would get completely plugged, resulting in terrible equilibrium problems. When I got up from the floor in yoga, my head would spin.  I have had some variant of this almost every spring.  I am trying to get in the habit of using these drops to keep my ears clear, but the drops are oily and it's a bit unpleasant.

My other symptoms include the usual runny nose, plugged head.  My eyes were very red and itchy this winter.  To be honest, until I realized this was allergies, I thought I just got sick a lot. My general practitioners never suggested allergies and I finally decided to check with an allergist on my own because I had been scratching myself in my sleep and my arms and legs had a lot of tiny scabs.

The first thing I was told to do was get mattress encasements. I got a complete set to cover my pillows, duvet, and box springs.  I'm kind of a missionary about these. I don't know why every mattress and pillow sold isn't covered in this kind of fabric since it can protect against dust mites, pet dander, and even bed bugs. Using the encasements and washing my bedding often in hot water was probably the best thing I did to keep my allergies under control.

I was finally convinced to do immunotherapy this year. I have been getting three allergy shots a week to get me up to the maintenance level.  I have to sit in the doctor's office for half an hour after each shot, so with travel time, I have been devoting three hours a week to this.  I was wondering if it was worth it when I remembered how much the allergies knock me out when they start up each spring.  I thought allergy season hadn't started yet until I saw everyone's facebook posts about their misery.

In addition to the shots I use prescription eyedrops, antihistimine tablets at night, and a nasal spray every morning. The allergist recommended that I use the NeilMed Sinus Rinse system about half an hour before the spray.  I find it a lot easier and quicker to use than the neti pot I bought last year, which seemed to require that I become a contortionist.  The squeeze bottle that comes with the NeilMed system is so much simpler and just takes a few minutes.

I don't remember having allergies when I was a kid but I did get a lot of headaches and runny noses. Maybe I just didn't realize I had them?  I am guessing that they are a lot more common than people realize.

I am really hoping that when I am up to the maintenance level on my shots, I can scale back on the antihistimines, which have been linked to weight gain.

No comments:

Post a Comment

"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07