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Year round severe allergies are literally killing me

I am allergic to just about anything you can name.  From pollen to dust mites, I have been suffering from year round allergies for years.  Shrimp will also cause anaphylaxis.  Ugh. 

Anyway, for the past several months, I have experienced severe headaches , facial pain, ringing in the ears, severe congestion.  Visited my ENT today and a CT scan revealed my sinuses are fine .  Ears look great.  No fever or post nasal drip which led the doctor to blame severe allergies.

I routinely take Montekulast, Flonase and MOMETASONE with little effect. Routinely use a neti pot too. 

I'm desperate to find an alternate remedy and welcome suggestions of things I can try to relieve these constant symptoms. 

Thanks much. 

Mike 

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  • Shea

    I feel ya Mike! I had allergies for years and eventually, at age 26, I developed a rare chronic allergic disease called Churg-Strauss Syndrome that literally caused a heart attack from allergic blood cells called eosinophils surrounding my heart and choking it. I was taking singulair at the time–which I started taking before moving in with my now-ex who had cats and a dog. It worked like magic at first, but after a year all my allergic symptoms (I am allergic to cats and dogs among other environmentals and foods) came back in weird ways causing severe asthma (which I had never had before), constant congestion, the works– and led to the heart attack which is when I was diagnosed with CSS. 

    The past 5-6 years I have been living in a dander-free, carpet-free home, with Hepa air purifiers, zippered casings over mattresses and pillows, and I have a Hyla air cleaner/vacuum that is water-based and really helps too. Avoidance is a huge part of my regimen. (I even recently moved into a new home to escape mold issues–I live in Florida so its year-round allergies here–but the new home is very air tight, good insulation). 

    I dont take singulair anymore because my pulmonologist said it is increasingly being tied to churg-strauss syndrome although causation has not been proven. My theory is that I would never been able to live with cats and a dog at all had I not been on that medicine–but that it did not fully stop the allergy–specifically the eosinophils in my blood, and developed into chronic eosinophilia whi h affected my internal organs.

    Now I know flonase nasal spray, now OTC, fights eosinophils (which are blood cells that are implicated for the inflammation due to allergy).

    Nucala is a monthly injected medication that fights eosinophils that I took for a year and it lowered my eosinophils in bloodwork to normal range. My insurance helped but I had supplemental funding and my funding ran out so I had to stop the nucala after a year (it is expensive). I tried xolair too (less expensive monthly injected) but it did not work for me although others have had success. These medications are different than allergy shots (mt allergic condition was so bad that allergy shots where they inject small amounts of allergens to help your body build tolerance was not an option). 

    Right now I am on maintenence prednisone for my disease, on top of nebulized and inhaled asthma medications, so it is keeping me out of misery. The trial for me is weaning onto lower doses without flaring the disease. 

    Allergies are definitely serious, and I know you saw an ENT, but I definitely recommend an allergist or immunologist specialist because they know what to look for. None of my doctors before flagged my super high eosinophil level (which is in a CBC)–it made me so mad because I could have prevented a heart attack. An allergist or immunologist would have seen that .They also are more informed about the newer biologics like nucala and xolair–which studies have shown to really help inflammation caused by allergy. Good luck–Happy St Paddys Day too!! Let us know how it goes!

    Shea

  • Kathy P

    Welcome Mike .my allergies have gotten increasingly worse year to year. It's miserable!

    Do you take an antihistamine daily? That helps for me. Have you tried immunotherapy (allergy shots or sublingual)?

    You said you were looking for natural solutions. Here is an article that might be of interest -  I've tried Butterbur, but didn't find much difference. 

    Have you looked at you indoor air quality to see if you can reduce your exposure to the allergens? That makes a huge difference for me!

  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, @Terrapin69, welcome! It sounds like you've had a miserable time of it!

    Avoidance is definitely my best trick when it comes to things I'm allergic to. It can be hard to do, but modern technology can make it easier. 

    Have you checked out some of AAFA's great ?

    I'll be back with some more suggestions soon!

  • Melanie Carver

    Hi Mike,

    If you haven't discussed immunotherapy with your allergist, now may be the time. There are options for dust mites (a tablet), grass pollen (tablet or shots), etc. 

    And then checking your environmental control in your home may help as well. There are steps you can take to reduce exposure to dust mites, pollen, mold, etc., in your home. We have a few resources to help (and we're developing a new checklist that will come out soon):

    AAFA has a certification program and companies apply to have their products tested. If the products meet our strict standards for reducing exposure to allergens and asthma triggers, then they earn this mark:

    You can learn more and find a list of CERTIFIED products at

    Hope you find some relief soon!

  • Shea

    Those are great resources Melanie! I used to refer to them a LOT when first struggling, and it was a process getting new tools and doing things differently, but I feel like I finally am living by the guidelibes and it is helpful. I am looking forward to the checklist too–I will have to print it out. 

  • LK

    Thanks for the resources, Melanie!  Especially the one specifically about dust mites will really help me figure out what I need to do differently.  I hadn't read them yet.

  • Melissa G

    @Terrapin69 how are you doing? Have you had any success in getting a better handle on your allergy symptoms?

    My dd ended up getting two different antihistamines, a nasal spray and doing sinus rinses to get her symptoms under control. She was mess for awhile til we got things back under control. 

  • Marie E Natzke

    Mike. They say to shower before bedtime but sometimes I just can't do that. So changing my pillow case more than once a week helps. And as I recently found out I had some hidden mold in the shower, make sure bathroom mold is gone. If you can keep your triggers under control it helps the rest of your allergies.

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    Hello @Terrapin69 How are you doing now that we've moved into summer? Are your allergies better or worse?

    I thought you might be interested in reading AAFA's

    "Spring pollen season has increasingly intensified with longer, warmer growing seasons that produce stronger pollen at higher quantities." 

    I hope you were able to find some relief for your symptoms! 

    Brenda