Blocked nose, possible mold allergy - sick building syndrome? Rhinitis?

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Hi Everyone,

I'm trying to find people in similar situations that are either dealing better than I am, have some treatment that is working or have come out the other side.

Before reading about my symptoms I believe its relevant to point out that I bought my house just over 7 years ago. My house has a cellar and only original floorboards separating the cellar to my living area (with half inch gaps between each board). I also have found black mold in other areas of my home. I didn't catch onto this/piece together until recently.

My issue started around 6.5 years ago when I was diagnosed with M.E or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I suffered from extreme tiredness, sensitivity to light, muscle and joint pain, brain fog and confusion. I then later got diagnosed with acid reflux.

Around 5.5 years ago I caught a cold and took a small blow to the nose at the same time. This resulted in difficultly breathing and a permanently blocked nose. I went to the doctors more times than I care to remember, they said everything looked fine but eventually got referred to an ENT after much pressure! I was on antihistamines and a nasal steroid spray too. The ENT took one look and diagnosed me with a deviated septum, enlarged turbinates and a bone spur all blocking my breathing.

My first surgery saw the ENT trim my turbinates, reposition and reshape them. I was desperate for this to work but it didn't. I got some light relief and the issue mainly stayed in one nostril. Time went on and I had another surgery around 12-15 months later. This time a probe inserted to heat the turbinate tissue and reduce their size. I had more luck with this but still have a really blocked nose and little quality of life.

Recently I caught the flu and ended up with pressure in my ears that won't go away.

I have had an allergy test in the past and the results were cat dander, grass pollen, dust mites and mold. I did have two cats but these were rehomed to another family member and I have had no improvement. I think that my issue may have been caused from breathing in damp for a long period of time? I had no allergic symptoms for the 18 months before my nose blocked. Could this be mold poisioning or simply a severe allergy? I would assume I'd have had an initial reaction to it when I first moved in.

Has anyone been treated for allergies with enlarged turbinates are actually recovered? I think we are going to move house to see if that helps too.

I have asked for a referral to an allergist to see if this can help in any way.

the last 6 years of my life have been hell. I've lost friends, upset family, lost a partner due to my inability to cope. I feared empty nose syndrome for a long time due to the two surgeries too.

Update: last week I purchased two air purifiers with HEPA filters and I had my best week in the 6 years I have mentioned. This was however short lived and I now feel worse than ever again. Could this be an allergy and can it still get better?

Please advise or share similar experiences. Hopefully there is a success story out there

0 likes, 13 replies


13 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Webb, boy have you had it hard! 

    3.5 years ago I moved house and within weeks developed a range of issues not dissimilar to some of yours. Tried Antihistamines and nasal sprays many making it worse. Had private allergy test and this is the bit that differs, nothing come up. I was rebuilding the house so lots of dust. 

    Had Sinuses drained and Septum straightened. 

    Still no better. 

    Then I found research about the use of red pepper nasal sprays for rhinitis and with doctors agreement tried it. 

    Changed my life, I can breathe again, no snoring, control over PND and phlegm.

    Nothing If you were

    • Posted

      It got away from me before I finished sorry. 

      Nothing will stop it but this controls it. The spray is available from Amazon or direct from the Capsinol in Holland which is cheaper and very quick. Totally drug free. I was taking Asthma medication to help reduce symptoms which I have now stopped. 

      Check out Rhinitis blogs on this site. I have suggested it to other people and the feedback is the same as me, vast improvement. Not sure if it will work for you but it will do no harm.  You do need to get rid of the black mold, Wickes sell a mold wash which will remove it and stop growth just by washing it down. Let me know if the spray works! Good luck

    • Posted

      Hi Richard,

      Thanks so much for responding!

      Yeah, its been a totally miserable experience but I know I'm not the only one. I have read so many stories on websites/chats etc but there never seems to be a happy ending. Maybe once people recover they're so happy they don't post anymore? I'm hoping to explore the site for more people with mold allergies and chronic blocked noses that have eventually experienced some success.

      Do your symptoms get better when you're away from home? Mine don't seem to improve at work, on holiday or anywhere else. Maybe I haven't been away for long enough. I do think the damp has been making me ill and the surgeries have failed because I've been returning home to the "sick" environment.

      Does the red pepper spray have a brand name so I can get the same one you've had success with? Also, how did they drain your sinuses? Did you have any turbinate surgery? I'm really happy that you have been able to get some kind of relief and its made your life more comfortable.

      I'm 100% cleaning all the mold in the house but I can't get away from having a damp cellar. I have fitted new flooring and purchased a humidity level checking device. My home is pretty much damp everywhere. In a few months I hope I can afford to move to a new house and see if the problem reduces somewhat. Hopefully an allergist can also provide some more support but the waiting list for follow up appointments is well over 12 months in my area. I will try the cleaning product you have suggested and make sure I check out the Rhinitis blogs on the site.

      Thank you again for your reply. At times I'm feeling like I'll never get better and that's so depressing and debilitating.

  • Posted

    So similar, moved to a new house and the problems started, thought it was the house or the area as we lived in town and moved to the country. Blamed it on oak trees in the garden, Christmas tree farms near by house dust but like you the issues never get better when I was away from it. We go to France about 6 times a year which is by the sea, at times it was worse there!!

    I when to an allergy specialist and within minutes he said it was not an allergic allergy and all the antihistamine medication prescriped was making it worse.  Stop this and it got a lot better but still had major episodes of attacks. 

    The red pepper spray is made by  Capsinol and called original formula, Amazon sell it but much cheaper and quick from the manufacturers, go on line and find the company, set up an account (makes reorder easier) and it comes via the post also read the blogs on the website about the success with other people. 

    I think the house maybe a trigger but not the real issue, the problem is with your Sinuses being over active and the NHS don’t have a fix for that. 

    My nasal surgery was to drain out the sinuses which were totally full. Unable to totally drain the top ones without drilling holes! because my skull is too thick (my school teacher said the same!) 

    It pepper spray stops your sinuses reacting to triggers so it does not matter what’s causing it it could help. Good luck 

  • Posted

    I’ve tried the chamomile tea no improvement for me.

     Tried saline nasal rinse up to 8 times per day which helped clear the mucus out but the Pepper spray seems to be the only thing that stops the production but give the chamomile ago. 

  • Posted

    I am no expert but I understand that chamomile is more a treatment for hay fever as opposed to rhinitis although many symptoms appear to be the

    You don’t say what medication  you are currently taking? 

    • Posted

      I’m on fenofexadine aitihistamines twice a day. I think they really dry my nose out though. I also use a steroid nasal spray called avamys. Apart from that I just do the Neilmed nasal rinsing. 

      In the past 12 months I’ve also developed acid reflux so take stuff for that too. I’m more confident it’s a Mold allergy to our house now. I’ve also read that Mold can cause severe sinusitis and fatigue. My new partner appears to have developed asthma since moving in with me. 

  • Posted

    Hi again,

    Basically whatever the cause the issue is over active mucus production from the sinuses. In non allergic rhinitis the medical system had no idea what the triggers are and in normal rhinitis they assume it is something you have reacted to in tests. Most people have an allergic reaction to something but the sinuses do not react. 95% of people would test positive to grass and end up with a bit of hayfever. 

    We are not so lucky. 

    I have noticed people who suffer rhinitis also develop gastric issues, me included. Starting to think it is a side effect of the gunk going down into the stomach? don't know. I developed acid reflux and had a camera inspection to find I was very inflamed. It had reduced with the pepper spray but get this looked, I take a daily tablet which now totally stops it (took 4 different types to find one which I did not have an allergic reaction too!) Lansoprazole.

    I too was on exactly the same medication fenofexadine, Avamy steroid nasal spray and nasal rinse up to 8 times a day. Also when the mucus got on my chest I ended up with multiple courses of steroids to clear it. 

    These are clearly not working for you so what do you have to lose?

    Its not the house, you prove it when you go away and it does not stop! It maybe a trigger but not the problem. One of my triggers is christmas trees never was a problem before but this year we put one up and within 3 hours I was a mess! took it out side and I returned to normal (all before the pepper spray) This is a mold issue.  Now I can go to the christmas tree farm around the corner without a reaction.

    When I had the allergy test I was told to stop all medication for 48 hours had no idea how I was going to cope but did it. Felt some much better within 24 hours. then started on just Rinatec nasal spray which helped but does dry up your nose so very unpleasant, and still had attacks and needed asthma inhaler to help breathing. 

    All gone with the pepper spray! no other medication required, it may not work for you but try it. 



    • Posted

      Hi Richard,

      I'm 100% going to try the pepper spray. I really, really appreciate that advice!

      I'm really not sure why it doesn't improve when I am away but I've read that if you have mold in your sinuses or system then you need to do more than being away from the home to cure it. Sometimes being away from the environement it may even take months to years to get better? Also changing your diet etc or medication if you have a fungal infection.

      I don't really ever have mucus or a wet nose. Wouldn't there be lots of snot if It was an over production of mucus from my sinuses? I did have a ENT look at my sinuses a couple of years ago after surgery but he said he couldn't see anything wrong. What makes you say its my sinuses and not turbinates?

      I really do appreciate all the advice and comments.


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