When medications are not enough….

These fall allergies are really kicking my butt. I have doubled my antihistamine to twice a day (per dr), I am taking a decongestant as needed and using my eye drops twice a day. Our air is off, but our windows are closed. 

I woke up with a horrid headache, my eyes were crusted over and sore and I was just miserable. Not exactly the way you want to start off the week or a Monday for that matter. 

I have checked in with my dr and they said I am doing everything I should. It just isn't enough…how do you cope this time of year? I am trying not to be grouchy but it is hard! 


Comments 22

  • Pljohns

     Melissa-that sounds totally miserable!  I'm afraid I don't have any offerings other than hugs!

  • mandyg730

    Melissa, I am having trouble like that too! I am doing sinus washes 2-3 times a day, flonase, Azelastine, Allegra, hepa vacuum, air purifier, the whole bit! But still runny/itchy nose in the mornings and that pesky post nasal drip. Is it cold where you are? I think kicking our heat on may have sent some dust into the air. I just logged on to post about this and see how you all deal. As an asthma newbie, my allergy symptoms get me on high alert! How do you stay calm? Right now I'm looking at the asthma plan and seeing that none of my symptoms are really "chest" symptoms. That helps.

  • Debbie Alves

    Hi, Melissa and Mandy,

    I spent years trying to cope with severe allergies year-round, with minimal effect, until I began taking Xolair, the biologic for extreme allergies.  But that's expensive and has its own risks.  These are things that helped some for me:

    Keep a/c on year-round to circulate the air through the HEPA filters (which, of course, you use and change monthly). Shower and wash your hair immediately after coming inside, and leave shoes by the door (so they don't track pollen/mold in). Clothes you were wearing need to be put inside a closed laundry hamper (again, so pollen etc doesn't brush off in the house). 

    Be careful to not use lotions, hair products etc that you are sensitive to — Vanicream is an excellent body cream without lanolin, parabens, fragrances and lots of other common triggering agents. 

    Talk to your allergist about cross-over sensitivities — ragweed allergy may make you more sensitive to certain foods, mold allergy to cheese, etc. Be careful to strictly adhere to your diet restrictions, stay away from places where there may be second-hand smoke or wood fires.

    Use your antihistamines, eye drops, sinus antihistamines per doctor, but don't omit one.  They can build on each other.  Definitely add a second pack of salts to your nasal irrigation (neti pot, etc) and use 3x a day instead of 2.  Increase your water consumption to help your body loosen mucous.

    Make certain your laundry detergent is hypoallergenic, and don't use fabric softener.  Wash your pillows in hot water and dry thoroughly at least once per month.  Replace them each year.

    These are a few things that helped me, and still help even with the Xolair.  Keep track of what works for you, and what doesn't and share with your allergist.  S/he may have other ideas for you.

    Good luck!


  • Verdigirl

    I agree with Debbie, great suggestions. Yes all of the chemical fragrance from detergents, cleaners, dryer sheets all that soaks into our bodies 24/7. Air fresheners, candles are not allowed in my house. I purchase fragrance free everything from dish detergent to hair products on Amazon. It's made a big difference as I was quietly being triggered within my home and then add in the pollen etc outside was becoming a recluse.I do meds but also have removed most sugar, dairy, gluten and artificial colors and flavors from my diet. That has helped a lot. Have found that Quercetin and Milk Thistle has helped a lot. I'm slowly building my body up to not be so reactive, have noticed the changes over time. This is the second year I wasn't affected by the fall pollen and mold from the leaves. Blessings,Danielle

  • Melissa G

    We use fragrance free detergents and no candles are in our home. I did turn the heat on this morning…it’s cold outside!!

    Thanks ladies!!

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    Debbie, those are some great suggestions! Thanks for sharing!  It's a good reminder to wash pillows once a month. It's now on my to do list!


  • Brenda Silvia-Torma
    mandyg730 posted:

    Melissa, I am having trouble like that too! I am doing sinus washes 2-3 times a day, flonase, Azelastine, Allegra, hepa vacuum, air purifier, the whole bit! But still runny/itchy nose in the mornings and that pesky post nasal drip. Is it cold where you are? I think kicking our heat on may have sent some dust into the air. I just logged on to post about this and see how you all deal. As an asthma newbie, my allergy symptoms get me on high alert! How do you stay calm? Right now I'm looking at the asthma plan and seeing that none of my symptoms are really "chest" symptoms. That helps.

    Mandy, Two days til your wedding, right?  Happy Sweetest Day!


  • Debbie Alves

    If you are having problems with continuing post-nasal drip and a clear fluid/mucous, you may need to add Benedryl into your mix. Discuss with your physician, of course, but when I’m having that, I add a Benedryl capsule 3x (morning, late afternoon, bedtime) a day. If adult strength Benedryl makes you sleepy, try some children’s Benedryl. 

    This is particularly important for me as uncontrolled sinus discharge rapidly triggers an upper respiratory infection, which then triggers asthma. 

    I take so much Benedryl that I don’t get sleepy from it, and can take 2 capsules every 6-8 hours if necessary. But it’s invaluable for me. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Verdigris and Debbie, so glad you've found things that work — I try to avoid fragrances as much as possible as well.

    Mandy, sending good thoughts your way!

  • Melissa G

    I am feeling some better today, I think with having the heat on and having things go through the filter not much is coming in the house. I so want some fresh air but not right now anyway…

  • Debbie Alves

    Be sure to use a cool mist humidifier if your heat is on. Having too little moisture is as bad for us as too much. Hang in there!

  • Shea

    Ugh I have now dedicated the first 1-2 hours every morning to blowing my nose.

  • Melissa G

    Yikes Shea!

    Turning our heat on has really helped me! Of course it has gotten quite chilly here so that may be helping too. 

  • Shea

    It is still pretty warm here– this morning though it was liike it finally thought "hey, I should be more fall-ish, its almost Halloween" and there was a coolness in tbe air so I opened all the windows because my home is very airtight and I just needed some freshness– even Tommy noticed and loved it. Then after an hour I closed up and ran the ac and air purifiers. I still need to vacuum but I just cant today– I did a lot of work (lawn) and errands (groceries) and family time (took Tommy to park and did nature walk)and now I am RESTING.

    I also dont let any scented stuff in tbe house besides good quality essential oils that I use on moderation through diffusers to help rid the indoor air of molds and bacterias (I like eucalyptus and tea tree especially). 

    My home is good– it is going out that I am really having a problem with. My quest to lessen animal dander in the outside world is officially OVER because I am a FAILURE at it and it hurts my heart and soul to even try anymore. Ugh. I got the letter back from tbe disability complaint department and it was basically like "we decided not to take any action on your complaint because we get a lot and cant address each one"– it was just a really annoying generic heartless response and I decided I will be a recluse now. I hate Florida, I hate all the stupid people who take their pets everywhere, I hate that asthma and allergies is so prevalent and the stories I hear and see on a daily basis of people bringing dogs into their apartment when their roommate is allergic and suffering, or the kids who tell me they are allergic but live with pets they are allergic too bc its their family pet, or the family member that has cats and now asthma from living with them but they "arent that allergic", I hate the pit bulls off leashes in my neighborhood, I hate that people can sue others for denying dogs into a car or home because of discrimination of their disability service dog even if the person has allergies, I hate the ignorance and I am so done with it. I knew I shouldn't have even written the complaint. Shut down like I have been my whole life and I am sick of it. 

  • Melissa G

    Oh Shea, I am so sorry!  I feel, if people do not go through something, they just can't understand. If they don't face the battle, the stress, the day's ins and outs of dealing with a chronic illness they will never know what it is like to face it. 

    You are an amazing mom and advocate! 

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    Shea, I'm so sorry that they gave you a generic heartless response!! Please know that it did matter that you sent the letter–even if it doesn't feel like it based on the response. You put time and effort into sharing your story and that was the right thing to do. Are there any other steps that you can take?  


  • Shea

    Thanks Brenda. I know that I used to be more ignorant too. I am sure there are always more steps and more blank empty complaint boxes that go nowhere to waste my time on– but I am just not up for it. Why even have a complaint form if that is what the respinse is. They just refer from there to other local offices. Well I never get goid responses from my complaints and I am just not the person to help make this change. I am too sensitive and it backfires on me and hurts me in a spot that is too sore. I am not taking anymore risks where there is little chance of a successful outcome– I avoid and put on masks both literally and figuratively just to breathe every day and that is what it is. I am not happy about it. 

  • LK

    Shea,  Many  for you!  It is so disheartening when our best efforts of putting ourselves out there to help ourselves and others come to naught.  It feels like nothing has changed and nothing ever will.  Even when it seems like there is none, there is always hope.  It is so hard to deal with all the injustices in our world especially when we do our level best to improve our lot and others'.  

    Please know that you have been an inspiration to me and many others here.  You handle so many challenges with such good graces and fortitude!  

    When I am in the midst of those times when it seems nothing I do is noticed it is exceedingly difficult to keep on keeping on.  There are times when we just have to allow ourselves to "give up" temporarily.  We, try as we might, are not super human.  We do run out of enthusiasm and drive.  It doesn't mean that we will not get either of those qualities back.  It just means that for now, we need to take a step back and do whatever we need to do to nurture ourselves.  We may or may not decide at some point in the future to "take on the world".  

    All that to say, please let yourself take some time off from tackling the world and all its problems.  Let others, and there are others, deal with it for now so you can regroup and regain your energies.  You have a lot on your plate as it is with taking care of your home (it is such a nice new home!  ) and schooling your wonderful son.

    More  coming your way!  Please let us know how you are doing!!

  • Shea

    Thank you Lisa, your thoughtful and kind words really do make me feel a little better and I will need your advice on nurturing myself, remembering the goods, and leaving things to others for a while.  I am going to start wearing my masks I have decided–I think it will help me.

  • Debbie Alves

    I think you’ll find it does help – and taking care of oneself seems to open new doors. 

    Let us know how you are doing, Shea.