Posted 5/10/2011 7:32 PM (GMT -6)
No, you are definitely not alone. about several years ago--I don't know, maybe 3 or 4, the spring pollen got LOTS worse. I went along fine with my allergy shots and antihistimine without any problem before that. When the pollen counts exploded (they say it has to do with warming, and the CO2 levels that allow plants to create far more pollen and for a longer period of time.) I was no longer able to even go outside.
I was a teacher, and began having to keep the windows of my classroom closed no matter how hot the weather. If I went into another classroom with a window open, my sinuses would immediately fill up and I would get hoarse. My asthma symptoms and postnasal drip increased astronomically.
I got to the point where I stayed indoors from mid-April through the end of June, then again during ragweed season mid August. My allergists were at a loss. I did get my shot serum increased, which after a year and a half seems to have helped.
Another thing that helped was adding another antihistamine at bedtime. I'm sure, like you, I watch the antihistamine commercials and would love to change places with those people who get the itchy eyes and runny nose!
Red's list of suggestions is right on. I always change my clothes when I come inside, and take a shower or wash my hair before bed.
Be careful with the Afrin. If you take it more than 3 days you can get rebound, and have more nasal symtoms because of it. I do nasal washings morning and nights ALWAYS, year-round, but during allergy time, I wash my sinuses whenever I come in, just to get rid of the built-up pollen.
My allergist gave me this recipe:
1 pint distilled water (chlorine free)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt (regular salt has an anti-caking additive that can be irritating)
I shake up the mixture and pour it into my hand, leaning over the sink. I breathe the water in deeply, and it either drains out my mouth or back out of my nose. I do this until the water is all gone.
Next, after blowing my nose, I use a Q-tip to put Ayr Saline Gel inside each nostril.
After that I use Q-Var 40mg inhaler fitted with a baby bottle nipple with the tip cut off--one puff each nostril. It's a steroid spray. My allergist prefers the dry spray. as he thinks it's more effective. When I'm going outside I use 2 sprays Patanase each nostril.
All these things have helped a lot, although if I get a lot of exposure, I cough a lot of gunk up.
I take a peak flow test several times a day to ensure that my mucous symptoms are not in my lungs, and that my peak flow is fine.
I wish I could give you a magic trick to make things better, but at least you know you're not the only one suffering greatly from tree pollens.