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Allergic Rhinitis, Anosmia and Late Onset Asthma

I'm just posting this personal experience for information.

I live in the UK and have suffered from allergic rhinitis since my teenage years (now 66) and have needed four endoscopic surgeries for nasal polyps and turbinate reduction, including long bouts of anosmia. Two years ago I was also diagnosed with late onset asthma.

The key trigger for all this is my allergy to house dust mite which I have found exasperatingly impossible to deal with despite exhausively following all the official advice to minimise exposure.

A few weeks ago I purchased what for me is a remarkable and fairly new to the market air purifier manufactured by Dyson, the Dyson Cool Tower.  I have this running in the bedroom 24/7 (door and windows closed) and from Day 1 this has transformed my life. No morning awaking with itchy watery eyes and nose. No scratchy breathing, sneezing or coughing and for past four weeks no need to take my daily Flixotide steroid inhaler, although I am continuing to use Flixonase nasal drops.

Another bonus is that my sense of smell has returned!!!

I am due an annual asthma checkup soon so it will be interesting to see what the medical advice will be.

Not sure if I'm allowed to post this here but below is the Dyson link. Warning – it's not cheap and there may be others around just as good.

Photo attached.

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Comments 31

  • Kathy P

    That's awesome that it has made such a difference! I've been looking at air purifiers and wondering if they really do make a difference. My challenge is being able to keep doors and windows closed.

    In the US, there are a number of Dyson products that are – but I don't see any of their air purifiers on the list currently. I think there is something similar for the UK – let me see if I can find it.

  • jujutsumaster

    It really is this good. I give the bedroom a deep clean every week but for the last few weeks there has been no dust to be seen on surfaces etc. Yes it is necessary to keep door and windows closed. The Cool Tower constantly monitors the air and responds almost instantly i.e. when the door is opened or moving about the room. Spray some aftershave/perfume and it instantly goes into overdrive until the air is cleaned.

    There is a nightime setting that limits fan speed and the unit goes dark. Normally it's whisper quiet. Download the Dyson App and you get wifi control and graphical representations of air quality day by day.

    As I said in my post, the product is fairly new here in the UK and Dyson is a UK company so I guess maybe they will launch the product in the USA at some time. Maybe email them on:-

    askdyson@dyson.co.uk

    Pity I won't be able to take it with me when I visit a friend in North Carolina in late October.

  • Jen

    Hi jujutsumaster – Welcome to posting.  Thanks  for sharing your experience with that product.  I think it's great that you found something that helps.  What's your plan to help with dust mite issues when you visit your friend?

  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, jujutsumaster! I thought I was the only one around here who had a reduced sense of smell. How long have you been without a sense of smell?

  • jujutsumaster

    My last no sense of smell was around nine months. I mean zero sense of smell.

    Visited ENT specialist about six weeks ago who prescribed tablet steroid for two weeks to shrink polyp buds followed by nasal drops to replace steroid spray.

    Even with long term use of spray I had allergy simptoms after sleep. The air purifier has eliminated all that plus solved (for now at least) my asthmatic breathing. Only time will tell.

    When I cross the pond to NC I gues I'll take my meds, including asthma sprays in case it flares up.

  • Kathy P

    That's awesome that you've been able to eliminate your allergic asthma symptoms! Wow!

    When you travel, you should definitely bring all your meds! We travel a lot and I find different place affect my allergies differently. Often in Europe, we are in hotels or apartments in older buildings which definitely affect me – I have issues w/ molds and dust. Other places, it depends on the predominant pollens (i.e. going to visit family where I grew up is really bad since I'm sensitized to all the pollens there already).

    I often travel w/ my own pillow too – that way I know what I'm burying my face in all night.

  • jujutsumaster

    Thanks for the pillow tip. The pillows I use are hospital grade used by our NHS so I'll most likely pack one.

    I'm also seriously allergic to cats and reactive to dogs but don't have any at home so always carry antihistamine.

  • K8sMom2002

    Are you an American coming back home for a visit? Or are you a Brit visiting us for the first time?

    If you have access to them in the UK,  can flatten out your pillow to make packing a bit easier. 

  • jujutsumaster

    Thanks for the space bag tip. Yes I can get them here.

    I'm a Brit returning to visit a martial arts friend in NC. We're gonna have some fun in his dojo ��

  • Kathy P

    Oh, that sounds fun! Is there a tournament or anything going on? My ddis a 2nd deg black belt and it's always fun for her to go visit. I'mmore "gentle" w/ Chen Taiji.

  • jujutsumaster

    No tournament. My friend is a Karate master of the Okinawan, tradition, Leland Seidokan Dojo. NC. I'm an 8th degree traditional jujutsu master. We both belong to the Dentokan traditional martial arts organisation. We're good friends and he plans to have me teach Aikijujutsu to folks locally when I visit. Plenty there to look up!

    Fantastic that you do Taiji.

  • Kathy P

    Wow, that is impressive! We want to see pics! Add one to the#TackleAsthma photos –

  • glyncor

    We have slept with an air purifier running all night for many years due to seasonal allergies.  It didn't prevent me developing asthma (recent diagnoses), however, I know that trying to sleep without it has always meant waking to a stuffy nose and foggy head, so we are very glad we have it.  I am glad it helps you, and yes, they are not inexpensive, but they do last a very long time, and work very well.

  • Kathy P

    Welcome Glyncor! I really need to go research air purifiers. We had a hepa filter years ago when the kids were little, but I don't think it did much. I'm sure the technology has improved dramatically in the past 15 or so years.

    I found this article a couple weeks ago and it sounds really cool – !

    How long ago did you develop asthma? Is it mild, moderate or severe?

    Have you guys found our thread? It's just chatting encouragement for how we manage the day to day struggles.

  • K8sMom2002

    The photos definitely worked, jujutsumaster! My DD would love to try a form of martial arts. She's a busy 15 year-old. I think it would be good for her — if we can fit it in between cheer practice and all her homework. 

    Glyncor, air purifiers are something I really need to research and invest in. About the only thing I've done in that direction is to buy allergy filters for our air conditioning return. 

    Kathy P's right — definitely join us in our thread! The more the merrier!

  • glyncor

    KATHY P, Thank you for your welcome.  I use an IQ Air Purifier from Home Health, and with it I can actually sleep with the windows open as long as I am either near the unit, or I open a window that is far away from me, and near the unit.  The unit is expensive, but it cleans the air very well.

    I guess I should introduce myself before I go any further.  As I said in a previous reply to another member, I was diagnosed in April 2016, but should have had that diagnoses some years before.  I have had chronic bronchitis (twice a year, every year) for at least 5 years.  What took me to an allergist was that I was losing my voice – not a good thing for a singer.  She thought I might have a mild case of asthma and put me on an inhaler and some meds to see what would happen.  I returned 2 weeks later with some improvement, but still vocal issues.  She put a scope down my throat and saw that I had a bad case of Thrush, which is caused from Candida Overgrowth in the stomach.  So, we treated the Thrush, and I continued on with treating the Candida overgrowth and asthma.  I still had some issue with the voice cutting out and did my own research to investigate what it might be.  So, with my research I asked my doctor if I might also had Vocal Chord Dysfuntion (VCD).  My doctor decided I  have Silent Gerd that affects the asthma and my voice, plus VCD. 

    I am telling you all this because I want to share how things can all be mixed up together with one thing affecting another, and another, etc.  I basically had 4-5 different things that were affecting each other, and had to be dealt with.  Although we got rid of the Thursh, I am left with continuing the battle against the Candida, continued control on the asthma, controlling GERD that I didn't know I had (Silent GERD), and doing exercises to hopefully regain my full use of vocal chords – time will tell.  The GERD thing does confuse the Asthma thing because at first it was very hard to know whether it was GERD or Asthma that was putting pressure on my chest.  Silent GERD does not reflux up into the throat, but sends up fumes that affect breathing, etc.  The asthma did turn out to be a little more than a mild case, because I started noticing how many triggers I have, and learning what to do in such cases.

    So, with the experience I have had, my advice to everyone is to look further than a simple asthma diagnoses, because there could be other things involved.  Sorry this is long – only sharing to possibly help someone else.  

     

  • Jen

    glyncor – thanks for sharing your story.  I am pretty sure some of our other members can commiserate with you.

  • glyncor

    I think that reading other people's stories helps us understand and identify things we might also be experiencing, especially if new to all of this.  Because I had a mixture of things going on, I recorded everything and then read each recording to my doctor, asking her to identify which thing each experience was related to.  It was difficult separating them all so I would know how to respond to each.  What a learning experience!

  • glyncor

    My doctor told me to record my symptoms, so I just wrote it all down.  I didn't know that there is an official journal – symptom journal?  I was so new at asthma, and dealing with all of the different medical issues I had at the time, that I felt I had to record everything so she could tell me what was an asthma symptom and what wasn't.  It was very confusing.  So, I can't say that all of the things I wrote down would normally be in an asthma journal.

  • Kathy P

    There's nothing "official" as far as a journal goes – just whatever form works for you!

  • K8sMom2002

    Glyncor : on your road to better health! Wow, you had a lot of things going on there! You're so right that different things can combine to make a very complex picture! I think it was smart to write everything down. Something like that helped us to figure out what was going on with our daughter. 

    Does your doctor think that if you get the candida overgrowth and the silent reflux under control that you may have less asthma issues?

    What sort of music do you sing?

  • glyncor

    K8SMOM2002, My doctor did say that the silent reflux has a lot to do with how my asthma and body reacts to everything.  For me it was just very confusing trying to differentiate between the 2 so I would know how to treat.  For a while, I would just treat both in order to get relief, and hope for the best.

    I sing only at church these days.  I am a soprano soloist, which made it very upsetting for me when my voice started cutting out last March when Easter Lilys were brought in to the church for Easter Service.  It was awful that my voice would just cut out on me with no sound coming out.  Really upsetting!  But, that is what started me on my journey to find out what was going on.

  • Jen

    Do you still have issues w your voice cutting out on you when you sing at church?

  • glyncor

    Jen, the voice cutting out happens less now, however, I am left with occasional gurgeling and raspy voice – which my doctor tells me is Vocal Chord Dysfunction (VCD).  Sometimes I am OK, and sometimes not.  This means I am not scheduling solos for now, just doing choir in case it cuts out, or starts acting up.  I am unsure how the VCD began – doctors don't know what causes it.  However, my suspicions run toward the asthma and possibly the Thrush caused by Candida. The Thrush had grown onto my vocal chords, so it may take more time for them to recover from any damage done there.  It is all mixed together – don't know what caused what, and what affected what. However, I do know that when the asthma flares up, the VCD is worse, so I am really working at trying to control the asthma.  I continue with the Vocal exercises in hopes that the VCD will be a temporary thing.  Only time will tell. 

  • Kathy P

    Interesting about the VCD – I'm not familiar w/ how that is related to asthma either. I can imagine that inflammation in that area could potentially flare all of it.

    If I recall @Nemo88 was also doing exercises for VCD.

  • glyncor

    From what I have read and been told, they don't know what causes VCD.  However, since everything piled up on me at the same time, I think it must be tied to asthma related issues – smells, chemicals, and the other triggers all exasperate the VCD as well as the asthma.