Mould and cat allergies... treatment?

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Hi,

I have suffered with mould and cat allergies for the last 10 years (diagnosed only in last year) resulting in chronic rhinitis. I have a level of reaction currently all year, but the months of Aug-Feb are horrendous. I have to come home and sleep straight after work to get through the next day, and sleep/rest all weekend to get through the next week.

I have swollen nasal lining, facial migraine, burning, itching nose. But no real mucous or running, just the feeling of chronic swelling and pressure - constantly.

Because it's not life threatening it's not considered severe, but wholly effects my quality of life.

I've tried most things; OTC antihistamines, natural nasal sprays, steroid nasal sprays, antihistamine nasal sprays, betamethasone, naproxen (anti inflammatory), fexofenadine, migraine medicines... the list goes on.

Has anyone tried anything effective, other than the usual, for mould allergies?

Has anyone had immunotherapy? Is there anywhere good for this either NHS or privately in the UK?

I'm desperate to find something that works now...

Thanks!

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    What kind of doctor did your allergy test? Was it an allergist or an ear nose and throat doctor? I'm asking these questions because I think you need to see an ENT. An allergist does things different and sometimes in my own opinion it doesn't work. I know because I'm been with an allergist for a year and she's throwing everything at me like you and hasn't done any good. She has me on three nasal sprays and two tablets a day and I still am allergic . But getting back to my point I think what you need is surgery on your sinuses. And I think that an ENT will agree with me. I was an absolute disaster like you several years back getting sinus headaches sometimes back to back. And then I saw an ENT and they did sinus surgery on me correcting a few things and basically reaming out my sinuses so that they could drain better. Well I think I've only had one or two sinus infections since I had that done and that was 15=20 years ago. You should also let your ENT do your allergy test. I don't know for certain that it's this way in the UK but I know it's this way in the US. An allergist gives you a small amount of the alligent with a scratch and if you react to that amount then they consider you allergic. On the other hand an ENT injects a small amount of the allegeant and then if you do not respond to it they give you more of the same allergen in the same manner. If you do not react to the increased dosage of the allergen then they determine that you are not allergic to that substance. So you can see the difference sometimes it just takes a little bit more exposure to the allergen before you have a reaction. So once they determine what you are allergic to then they should start doing the injections. And that's where they give you a small amount of the allergen on a weekly basis so that your body can build up a resistance to that allergen. I hope this helps you. I didn't know what you knew and what you didn't know or what you have and haven't tried so this may be too much information. But I hope it helps

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    • Posted

      Hi amkoffee,

      Thanks so much for the advice.

      Yes, I've been seeing any allergist and she did exactly as you say, skin prick tests. In a way it was great that they came up positive as I knew I was allergic to something but not what to for a berry long time. But now nothing she gives makes any difference.

      I've been wondering about an ENT recently as my ears pop when it gets really bad, so it's all around that area. I get daily facial migraine and tbh some days are very hard to get through with it. It will start effecting my job if I can't find something to help.

      I think it's really hard to get shots in the UK, probably because it's state funded, but I'd pay private if I knew it would help. Have you had shots? Do they work? It doesn't seem like a common treatment in the UK, unless you're a child. I've asked my allergist for them but she's swerving the ask.

      Perhaps I'll ask my doctor to refer me to an ENT while I keep pushing for shots from the allergist.

      How do you feel these days after the surgery? Has it made your life better?

      Thank you for the info... at my wits end with the doctors and pills!!

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  • Posted

    I have tons of allergies, cats, mold, dust etc. I used to live in a hot tropical humid climate my allergies became so bad, that I couldn;t breath through my nose at all and that was 24/7.

    Tried everything, even had turbinectomy reduction, no help. I tried immunotherapy for 6 month, - drops under the tongue, (very expensive) did nothing either.

    So what helped for me is to get away from that humid climate. Since I live in a much drier climate, I'm ok, I still have one side congestion when I sleep, the lower side gets congested.

    I also notice that when there is more wind, more dust / flowers, my sinuses get somewhat blocked, but never as bad as up in that tropical humid place. 

    Immunotherapy is tricky, because you have to know exactly what you getting the immunotherapy for and is that what is causing you the problem. I got it for dust mites, but for me it was useless as dust just by itself cause me sinus problems, or flowers and who know whet else. Probably humidity makes things 10x worse.

    What you saying about severity is  right, DRs don't consider it a big problem as it is not life threatening. However it can make ones life a hell !!!! But who cares, it's not life threatening, right? I wish sometimes it was because they would have had to find a cure for it!!!!!!

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    • Posted

      Hi care4health,

      Yes, exactly. Isn't it crazy, you try so hard to feel well enough to keep your job and do well, but they'll let you get to the point of bout being able to do so and thereafter cost the government more - madness!

      This time of year in the UK is rainy (very rainy!) and I know I'll be bad the day after rain - which is basically every day in the UK! I probably have about 3 ok months of the year now, so really aware that I need to start thinking about moving overseas. Really don't want to though, as just want to be well and happy here. Feel like if I've tried everything then I'll know that's what I have to do.

      Shame the shots didn't work for you. I'm not sure I have any other options left other than that...

      Glad you've found somewhere that toy feel better though - gives hope you can get better!

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    • Posted

      Uk's weather is awful! Rain + pollution / dust, that would explain everything. You might not need to go far, maybe Ireland, in the mountains? If you decide to go overseas, stay away from the coast.

      When I left that humid place, I felt some improvement almost immediate, however took quite some time to stabalise. It was like on and off, got blocked over and over, than had a few days clear sinus, than blocked again. It took I guess over a year to improve to a level that I don't need to use decongestants at all only very very rarely. And I just put up with that overnight one side congestion. Hope you get some solution for this nightmare too and will get some relief soon.

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  • Posted

    I am starting allergy shots next week.  I tested allergic to 80% of the allergens they used in the test.   I do not have allergy symptoms!  I have clogging, popping, crackling, pulling and aching ears.  My ENT and allergist worked together to decide it was allergies and TMJ causing my ear issues.  

    Anyway, I take azalestine nasal antihistamine (prescription) and flonase together twice daily and I take singulair once a day.  The singulair made a huge difference in my ears!  They aren't back to normal but they are better.  

    Xlear nasal saline spray has great reviews for allergies but I haven't tried it yet.  I was using a sinus rinse but it made my ears feel like they were wet and full of water so I stopped using it.  

    I purchased Quercetin with Bromelain today but I haven't tried it yet.  Both are recommended as good supplements for allergies.  

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    • Posted

      Who did your allergy test? Was it an ENT or allergist? I'm asking because they don't do the same type of allergy test. And I personally do not feel an allergy test done by allergist is sufficient. I think an ENT allergy test is much more inclusive and more real.

      Your history sounds exactly like mine. I'm doing the same nasal sprays and the same medicines and not getting any relief. The only thing is my allergist test only showed I was allergic to mold. So she doesn't want to do allergy shots. And I know that I react to animal dander and I told her that I think I was allergic to it and she said it's probably just mold on the fur. I'm not buying it so I went to an ENT (the allergist suggested it too.) I'm starting over with the ENT. This November I will have my allergy test done with them. I am hoping and assuming that they find more things that I'm allergic to and start allergy shots. I've been through this before many many years ago with an ENT and it helped tremendously.

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    • Posted

      I went to an allergist and had blood testing for allergies.  I came up negative for everything except for dogs.  I went to an ENT/allergist and had skin scratch testing in March.  I was supposed to start shots but I was taking a medication not compatible with shots and couldn't stop taking it at the time.  Last month I was ready to start the shots but the ENT/allergist closed his shot clinic in my town!  I was going to have to drive 2 hours round trip twice a week to get the shots.  I had to start over with a new allergist.  I already have an awesome otolaryngologist with a specialty in eustachian tube dysfunction so I went to a regular board certified allergist.  He was voted the best allergist in Indianapolis for 2016 so I hope he can help me.  The allergist wouldn't accept the testing from the ENT/allergist because he's not board certified in allergy. 

      I tested allergic to cat, dog, dust mites (DF and DP), trees:  ash, birch, cottonwood, elm, hickory, maple, oak, walnut, cedar, hackberry, KOT grass mix, johnson grass.  weeds:  dock, hemp, lamb's quarter, mugwort, english plantain, ragweed, marsh elder, sheep sorrel, cockleburr, pigweed.  molds: aspergillus, botrytis, chaetonium, epicoccum, fusarium, gliocladium, auerobasidrum, cladosporium, neurospora, paecilomyces, rhodotorula

      I am also allergic to wheat, eggs and milk. 

      I was anxious to start the quercetin with bromelain but I found out that you shouldn't take bromelain if you have an allergy to wheat.  

      I started taking 80 mg of silexan (lavender oil) on the recommendation of my TMJ specialist to help relax my muscles.  It might be a coincidence but my allergies seem to be better after taking a dose.  I did read that lavender oil mixed with peppermint and lemon are good for allergies so I guess it's possible.  

      Today it was dreary and rainy.  My ears weren't too bad but I had that awful blocked feeling behind my nose that feels like you are having trouble swallowing.  It went away about 45 min. after taking the lavender.  I am going to start keeping track of my symptoms when I take it to see if there is a connection.  

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  • Posted

    Journaling is a good idea. You might even look and see if you can find an app for your phone that would help you keep track of your allergy responses. There's an app for everything else so they might have one for this.

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