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Asthma attacks and swelling

I have been having asthma attacks along with swelling. I have been asthmatic (adult- onset) for about 14 years. About 2 years ago, I would have about 3 asthma attack a day when I was working in my office. My asthma was out of control. Finally my doctor recommended Xoliar. Since taking Xolair my asthma attacks have been significantly reduced but I still have asthma attacks while working in my office.I am also struggling with my allergies. I live in Texas where it is cedar pollen season and I am highly allergic to cedar. It is to the point that I cannot leave my house without the left side of my face swelling. I keep my house very clean with air purifiers and vacuum everyday. When I leave the house within 30 minutes to an hour the left side of my face is swollen (sometime my right eye starts to swell, but it always starts with my left eye). When I come home, my swelling usually will go down in about 10 minutes. I feel like I am confined to my house. I've gotten permission to work at home through cedar season which is helping. Does anyone else swell on a consistent basis? If so, has anything helped? 

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  • Megan Roberts

    I don't have face swelling to that extent, but do have allergy-triggered asthma and have only in the last few years figured out what I think is a virus is at least half the time allergy symptoms.

    I just looked up cedar pollen and it looks like you're getting hit really bad with it this year due to rains from Hurricane Harvey stimulating plant growth. Also, now having read a bit about , the symptoms and severity of this allergen sound just awful! I'm so sorry you have to deal with that in Central Texas. Lucky that your boss can accommodate you working from at home so that at the very least, you can control your indoor environment for most of your day/night. I don't blame you for feeling trapped though. Are there other places you could go just to get out that would not cause allergy symptoms? Maybe a walk at a local mall? 

    Do you have any methods for reducing your exposure to allergens when you leave the house? A lot of community members wear a scarf or face mask to filter air. 

    Hope this allergy season is over in your area soon… according to what I read, it sounds like it ends early March. Hang in there! In the meantime, maybe we can help you brainstorm some ways to avoid swelling and other symptoms.

  • Shannon P.

    Thanks Megan. I haven't thought about using a scarf to cover my face. That's a great idea! I have tried to go to several places. I have gone to the grocery store, Sam's and even to some of my friends houses and always swell. I haven't tried the mall recently. Maybe I will give that a shot. This allergy season has been really bad. I actually even started having symptoms in October so I think ragweed was the culprit there. Hopefully cedar ends soon. Thanks again!

     

  • Megan Roberts

    Some folks wear masks with a carbon filter in them which come in a bunch of cute designs. Here is an example of one brand, , that I know a bunch of people in this community are really happy with. It would filter out a lot of the cedar pollen I bet. If you're not comfortable wearing that, though, even a scarf wrapped around your face to filter the air would help some. I wear an eternity scarf that's made of a t-shirt cotton, very lightweight, and I wrap that around my face a few times when I run. 

    Sunglasses may help reduce the cedar pollen getting in your eyes, too. 

    Ugh, you've been struggling with allergies since October? Hope you find relief soon!

  • Pljohns

    Shannon-I'm one of the ones that wears a mask-right now because of the flu-but I am triggered by strong smells of any type.  i bought a mask because I had to work in a newly constructed clinic with all of the associated fumes-paint, glue, floor wax, new carpet-you name it-and i can absolutely attest to the fact that it filtered out ALL of the smells.  It had a carbon filter that was specifically for odors and came from amazon.  There are some really great ones out there that are really cute and can be washed.  i have 3 that I rotate between now so I have one in my purse, one on and one in the car all the time.

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs, Shannon … it sounds like you have really been struggling! 

    The mask is a GREAT idea, and the steps you've already taken are great, too!

    A few random thoughts:

    • Could you talk to your allergist about  Severe reactions to environmental allergies are rare. Still, my daughter has food allergies, and what you're describing (major swelling in the face plus breathing problems) would trigger the part of our to use an epinephrine auto-injector. Each doctor is different and each person is different, so it's important that people get their own individualized plan of what to do when.
    • Could your workplace put in an air purifier for your office? 
    • I'm assuming, since Texas is full of wide open spaces, that you drive to get to where you're going. Have you checked your car's cabin filter to see if it needs changing? Here's an article on Car.com about .

    I checked on asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program, and I don't see any current cabin filters that are listed as certified, but even so, it's something to check. 

    At home, I replace my HVAC filter more often than the 3 months upper limit that it's supposed to last because I live in a dusty area. It just doesn't last as long. 

    Here's more about asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program:

    The asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program, administered by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) in partnership with the international research organization, Allergy Standards Limited (ASL), is an independent program created to scientifically test and identify consumer products that are more suitable for people with asthma and allergies. You can find certified products and services such as carpet cleaning, flooring, vacuums and more at 

  • Melissa G

    @Shannon P. how are you doing? Did you check in with your doctor? Have you tried any of the recommendations, did they work?

  • Melissa G

    Thinking of you Shannon! Have you been having any problems with the recent weather changes?