Allergy sufferer's HELP

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Nomad, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    The last nine months or so have been TOUGH!
    Got diagnosis'd with Sjogrens. Then, Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia.
    Now (drum roll please) right turbinate (nose) is swollen and the ENT says it is due to very bad allergies. OMG! I have never had allergies before.

    I've had many sinus infections this past year. Then, I had what seemed like a SI, but the antibiotics did NOT work.

    So, I've been give Flonase, etc. Barely helping. I got a Netti Pot. I'm also getting an electronic pulsating thingee.
    I'm scheduled for some heavy duty blood work soon.

    Anyone have these types of problems and what have you done that has been very helpful? Thank you.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    The Neti Pot always made my sinuses burn and gave me a headache. However...

    Can you take good old Benadryl?

    If not... Breathing in steam helps, as does a "tetch" of Vicks Vapo-Rub in that steam. Cool mist humidifier helps me in the winter... When my allergies are worst.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The neti pot was miserable for me. Mostly because I kept ending up with the yucky waterall over me. I vastly prefer the sinus rinse bottle because you just lean over the sink. Ayr salline GEL is a MUST. For a while using the saline rinse will leave the membranes dry for a while. Esp wth Sjogren's, ths can hurt and lead to bleeding and problems. The saline nasal gel helps tremendously. You put a little bit on a qtip and stick it up in your nose and rub it all over up there. ONLY use distilled water in your rinse. Tap water can create all kinds of problems.

    Have the doctor do a DEEP sinus culture. It is NOT fun, and can hurt, but it will tell them if there is bacteria in there that isn'tcoming out. It could be you have a resistant strain or some form that the antibiotic simply didn't kill. Not every antibiotic kills every bacteria.

    Make a rice bag by sewing some fabric into a rectangular bag long enough and wide enough to go over your forehead and eyes, put some uncooked rice in it, sew it shut and heat it in the microwave, tehn put it on your face when the sinuses hurt.

    Mucinex is your best friend. So are decongestants. Most people do NOT understand what these medications do.

    Antihistamines dry things up, and they keep the body from freaking out over various allergens/irritants.

    Decongestants make the mucus thinner and easier to get out. The swelling you have will keep your snus cavities from draining properly. Sudafed, the stuff you sign for, is the best out there. Go ahead and buy it and take it, it will make a big difference.

    Mucinex is an expectorant. It makes the mucus less sticky. Otherwise it clings to you and can be very hard to get out, even if you are taking decongestants. The mucinex brand is 12 hrs and the generics are instant release which means taking them every 4=6 hrs. I would pay the extra for the brand name with an infection. Then you are covered if you can get mroe than four hours of sleep.

    My docs have always suggested all 3 plus the flonase if I had a sinus infection. Plus the neti pot/rinse bottle.

    This last thing will sound weird. It works. Put a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ear. Lay with that side up for five min or so, until the fireworks sound stops. Make sure you move your aw around to help open up the eustachian tube. Let it drain out into a washcloth, old rag or tissue paper. The peroxide can bleach your clothing/fabric, so keep it off the furniture. This can be a HUGE help at getting rid of a sinus problem. Be sure to do both ears. Some of the peroxide will go through the eustachian tube and help get rid of bacteria there and itno your sinus cavities. We have done this for years and several ENT's have recommended it when we or the kids had sinus problems.

    If all else fails, have the doctor go in and clean it all out. NOT fun, but sometimes nothing else works.

    Also consider steaming. Get a bowl and pour hot water into it. Add a drop or two of eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil if you want, they can help open up things. Sit or stand with your face about a foot over the bowl and drape a bath towel over your head to keep the steam in. Spent ten or fifteen min doing this. I use a 1 quart bowl and microwave it to heat the water. I cover the water iwth the essential oils when I am done and then reheat it when needed again.

    Also take motrin or aleve to help wtih the swelling.

    Avoid combination products f possble. Too easy to get too much of something, and often the something is tylenol.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Susie's right about mucinex and decongestants. I do use Benadryl for one thing and one thing only - to keep my body from flipping out when exposed to ragweed, straw, hay, etc. I try not to use it too much though.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Re: peroxide cleaning the middle ear. As far as Ive been taught, the eardrum closes off the end of the outer ear canal. Behind it is the chain of bones, fluid and structures that conduct sound and link to the structures for balance and the inner ear for hearing. Where the bones are, behind the ear drum... that is the middle ear. The opening to the E tube is on the other side of the middle ear, and can open/ close to drain to the throat. ( and germs/junk can climb up).

    Unless there is a hole in your eardrum ( or one made by pe tubes) there is no way for anything you put in your outer ear canal to pass through to your Eustachian tube. And of course nothing inside the middle ear is let out that way.

    Peroxide does help with wax for some though and that can help feel more comfortable.

    And if peroxide does run thru, go to the doctor :) There's a hole or tear in your eardrum.
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Great ideas!
    This sxcks!
    I have a new found appreciation and empathy for people suffering from this stuff. It is hideous. I'm getting migraines and sinus headaches and some days I feel VERY grouchy.
    I think Clairitan (sp) does little to nothing. What about Zertec? (I don't knoiw how to spell this is all new to me). I just took a Mucinex.
    With the Sjogrens, mucus gets stuck. It is thick, etc.
    I'm grossed out and GROUCHY.
    Thank you again..please keep this ideas coming.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Drink. Serious drinking - but no alcohol.
    Water. Juice. Tea. Herbal tea. Chicken soup stock (you can eat the soup, too)
    FLOOD your system with fluids.
    It really does help keep that gunk from getting so thick and hard.
  8. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    Asthma hit me in my mid 40's, partly because I moved to the Central Valley and there's asthmatics in my family tree. Allergies got weird for me too. Seems like things have backed off a lot since we moved into the Great Basin where yeah, there's dust but it's CLEAN desert dust. I'll get nosebleeds but maybe have to use an inhaler twice a year if it's a bad year.

    I've heard that with perimenopause our allergies can do weird shifts. Seemed so for me.

    So. Claritin (generic Loratadine) works for me, but I have to take two or three. When I *am* in an allergic environment (like one of my housecleaning clients where everyone smokes and there's dust, dander and mold like whoa) the reactive effect brings everything back. Once when I was in a walk-in in SoCal for a sudden and very ugly asthma attack, along with the nebulizer treatment the nurse asked "did you take anything?" I said "I took a Claritin but it hadn't helped." She gave me two more, saying the toxic levels of that are a lot higher than the recommended dosage, and it's ok to take up to three if it's bad. Two usually helps keep things down to a dull roar, and I take two twice a day and bring the inhaler when visiting SoCal. Something down there would kill me eventually if I lived there.

    So if your allergies are THAT bad, no surprise a single Claritin isn't helping. But as with anything else, look up all the info you can and talk to your doctor.

    Mucinex never worked for me, when I lived in Bad Air Central. Best thing I did for all the allergies, asthma etc. was give up all wheat products. As with anything else, your mileage may vary - not everyone is allergic to wheat. :)

    I'm with the Insane Canadian on drinking LOTS of water, fluids. There are some teas that work better than others, but I have heard you want to avoid the ones that boost the immune system if it really is allergies, they just make your body react more strongly. Penn Herb Co. used to sell a blend called "BRON" that tasted good and helped me when I had chronic attacks of bronchitis. (But I've removed all the bad environmental stuff, that doesn't happen anymore.)

    Gargling with salt water, even if you don't have a sore throat, helps loosen things so your coughing works better. Also soothing. I like the neti pot, but not everyone is comfortable with the goo that comes with using it. :)

    Good luck!
  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Your allergies sound just like my difficult child's. She has tried Nasonex which made her more stuffy. They put her on Flonase which helped at first, but then made her more stuffy. She has been prescribed a different nasal antihistamine medication, but I can't remember what it is. She said it tastes horrible and won't use it anymore - I guess the taste from running down her throat. Oral allergy medications (Claritin, Zyrtec, Benadryl, etc) and Sudafed (behind the counter version) do nothing for her. I think Mucinex might help her because it does thin the mucus, but the pills are too large for her. She does a lot of saline nasal spray, Ayr Gel, a cool mist vaporizer, etc. She's also had sinus surgery and 2 sinus CT's. At this point, she is being sent to an allergy specialist because they don't know what else to do because with everything she does, her nasal passages are still swollen most of the time. They have ruled out infection - that was taken care of when she had surgery.

    Good luck. I have allergies, but mine are of the sneezing, itchy eyes, throat, and ears variety.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    There is this new thing on the market that you may have seen advertised that looks like a handheld steamer to put up to your nose. Kinda looks like a mask for a breathing machine but puts out steam. You can get them over TV or on Amazon. I dont remember the name. They take the place of using a warm air humidifier in your room which just doesnt work well unless you sit over it with a towel. I had a form of one of these years and years ago but it disappeared.

    I am going to get one when I can afford it. I think it would be wonderful because all you are doing is breathing steam in and getting things moving. As far as other things to help, I would go for allergy testing to find out exactly what it is you are allergic to and try to avoid that and if you cant completely avoid it get the shots to help desensitize yourself.
  11. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    As I went into peri-menopause, I developed horrible allergies with attending sinus infections. The year I finally went into menopause, I developed asthma, as well. In exploring this on the internet? I learned that there is evidence for a connection between the hormonal changes of menopause and allergies/adult-onset asthma. I wish I had known that when all this started!

    Claritin (or Zyrtec or something similar) work better for me than benedryl. Benedryl will make you sleepy. If Claritin isn't working for you, there is a newer medication available now. I can't think of the name, darn it. If you google histamine receptor agonists, you should be able to find the name of the next generation medication. I couldn't take that one because it has a dairy product base, but it might help you. They even use it on children. What it does is stop the allergic reaction one step sooner than Claritin or a similar product.

    Mucinex has been wonderful. I love it. So helpful to me.

    I use a nasal decongestant spray when I am stuffed up to keep those passages open so an infection doesn't begin.

    Drink lots of water.

    I have found wheat, chocolate, coffee, beef, strawberries, bananas, peanut butter and pecans, dairy products and soy all create breathing problems for me. I eat chicken, broccoli, fresh salads (nope, can't do tomatoes, either). As the years since menopause have passed, I find that I can eat some of the foods that were so bothersome at first in small amounts. Ocean fish and shellfish, I cannot eat. Freshwater fish such as salmon, I can do. Food-wise, I found that the allergies / asthma reaction happened when I ate or drank the things I had most loved in my life. Try eliminating some of your favorites for three days. If you feel better, you have found one of the culprits.

    The thing I miss most is coffee.

    And popcorn. I really miss popcorn, too.

    But I'm feeling better, so it's definitely worth it.

    I'm sorry this is happening, Nomad. I hope you feel better, soon.

  12. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    Zyrtec has been a godsend for me. It has helped with allergies and also helping with my asthma!
  13. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Singulair. The name of the next-generation Clairtin product is Singulair. I don't know whether that one is over the counter yet or not.

    Back when I had sinus infections (before I started on the Claritin) I tried the hydrogen peroxide in the ear remedy. It worked for me when nothing else did. I could feel it, when it went in. Also tried the neti pot, and the neti pot with salt water.

    I am so happy one of the doctors I went to (and not a specialist, either ~ they wanted to talk surgery) recommended Claritin.

  14. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Thank you everyone!!!!
    I have found Allegra and Benadryl (at night only) helpful as well as flooding myself with water!!!! Great ideas!!!

    Barbara, did you just do an elimination diet or did you do the food allergy testing? There is also something called the Alcat that tests for common allergies via a blood test.

    Thank you again EVERYONE!

    This really is a yucky surprise as I have other medical things to contend with ... this was so NOT needed.

    I appreciate all this great input!