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I have been suffering from perennial allergic rhinitis for at least 8 years. I am 21 and I am studying computer science.
My turbinates are extremely swollen. The swelling is present during the whole year, regardless of the season. It gets a lot worse in the most of the indoor places. Postnasal drip is present when turbinates are swollen, but I don't have problems with runny nose. I also don't have problems with sneezing or itchy eyes.
I kindly ask you not to post comments if you also suffer from runny nose. I ask that because always when I found someone with a condition same as mine, the discussion was filled with comments from people suffering from other rhinitis symptoms besides swollen turbinates, especially from people with runny noses. I have compassion for you, but trust me, this is different.
Places where my condition is the worst are caffe bars and cheap restaurants with poor ventilation. My turbinates become swollen almost immediately after I enter these places, it takes only a few seconds. After leaving those places and getting some fresh air, I immediately feel partial relief, but not completely, I suspect that's because the allergen remains present on my skin.
Condition also gets worse in many other indoor places, such as my apartment and college classrooms. We recently did a detailed cleaning of the apartment, especially my bedroom. Soon after that, my condition became a bit better (not dramatically) both at home and at other places where it usually gets worse. But that small improvement only lasted couple of days.
Places where I get almost immediate relief are doctors' and dentists' offices. Immediately upon entering I feel significant relief, and after couple minutes spent there it gets even better. I am quite sure it happens because those places are sterilized.
Being out on fresh air also brings significant relief, but not as much as being in doctors' and dentists' offices.
I used many different medications and visited many doctors. Medications that provided significant relief are antihistamines. I tried different types and all of them caused extreme drowsiness and limb weakness. One time it was so extreme that I almost dropped a pot while carrying it from the fridge to the table. Even bilastine, which was designed for treating allergy without drowsiness, caused severe drowsiness.
Corticosteroids such as Avamys and Nasonex didn't provide any relief at all. Capsaicin (ingredient found in hot peppers) based sprays bring mild, very short-lasting relief (up to one hour).
Besides medications, there are some other things that provide partial relief. Saline solution provides partial relief immediately. Condition worsens again in 20-30 minutes, depending on the place I'm at.
Showers also provide instant parital relief, but it worsens after I spend about 20 minutes in my room.
I did allergy tests. I used skin prick test to test for all common allergens and it turned out negative. Then I measured total IgE in blood, it was 193 kU/L, which is higher than the reference value (122 kU/L). Then I ran specific IgE tests from blood for some allergens, and all of them turned out to be negative. All of this means I am allergic, but can't determine exact cause of allergy.
I had a deviated septum surgery before we determined I suffered from allergy, the surgery didn't help at all (during the surgery they also removed a little bit of my turbinates). Later I had RF mucotomy (basically burning your turbinates with high temperature) done, it didn't provide significant relief.
More detailed, there are 2 problems with turbinates. One is the burning sensation and the other one is the enlargement of turbinates.
Burning sensation is bad, but it can be controlled with large quantities of saline solution. Also, the burning sensation almost always comes together with enlargened turbinates, but turbinates can be enlargened without the burning sensation.
The enlargement of the turbinates is the biggest problem. At almost all times only one turbinate is enlargened, every couple of hours they switch sides (nasal cycle). In some places both turbinates swell badly (places with poor ventilation like caffe bars and some restaurants). The problem with enlargened turbinates is that I feel they are literally pressing my brain against the skull. If the left turbinate is enlargened then I feel pressure in the left side of the head, and if the right turbinate is enlargened then I feel pressure in the right side of the head. This pressure makes me go mad. I go to into "Hulk-like mode". I become very nervous and talk aggressively to people around me for no real reason except for enlargened turbinates.
I believe that enlargened turbinates are significantly reducing blood flow to the brain because of the following:
First, POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) - when I stand up after sitting or lying down for a longer period of time I feel like I will pass out, my vision goes black. I already passed out once. When I stand up I need to sit down immediately for 10 seconds until my head gets better, if I don't sit down I'd pass out for sure. What is important is that if my left turbinate is enlargened then I get a black out feeling in the left side of my head (same goes for right turbinate and right side of head).
Second, when my turbinates are enlargened I feel extreme tiredness, regardless of the amount of sleep I get. I sometimes fall asleep during lectures while sitting in the first row of the classroom. I believe it is caused by enlargened turbinates because when I rinse my nose with saline solution I immediately become less tired or stop being tired at all. Washing my face with water also helps with tiredness. I believe that by rinsing my nose and washing my face I am removing the allergen from my body.
Third, partially connected to the second, is yawning. When my turbinates are enlargened I yawn literally once every minute.
Fourth, my focus becomes very poor. It is what gives me the most trouble. I literally can't pay attention for more than 5 seconds, and when I lose focus it takes at least as much to regain it. I often can't even have a decent conversation because it's too hard to think about what the other side is saying and what I will respond. I also become very slowed down. Everyday normal tasks, like taking a shower and preparing meals take a lot longer than they should. The hardest activity is learning. It takes ages to read something and even more time to memorize it. It becomes harder and harder each semester (I am studying computer science).
Fifth, also very important, is that my voice is weird and more quiet when turbinates are enlargened, it feels like I am speaking through my nose. People don't take me seriously when I talk using that voice.
If you suffer from the same condition or know someone who does please share your advice and your diagnosis.
I repeat my kind request: please do not to post comments if you suffer from runny nose.
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