Extreme Seasonal Allergies

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New Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/7/2011 7:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Just happened to be browsing the web when I came across this website.  I am one of the healthiest people I know, I get a cold maybe once every 3 years and never get the flu.  I live in Massachusetts and every May when the tree pollen comes out I am horrible.  I feel like all the help websites are for people that barely sneeze once or twice a day.  My allergies are so bad that if I didn't overdose on the medicine I already have, my eyes would swell shut.  I decided to go to an allergist two years ago after not wanting to deal with it anymore.  So they tested me with needles in my arm and it blew up like popeyes arm.  I am allergic to most tree pollens.  So they made me come every week for allergy shots, and as May got closer I would go everyday.  So allergy season came and the exact same symptoms :(  The allergist basically said that my case was really bad and unusual that I don't get any other type of allergies at any other time of the year but May.  She also said there was a sterioid patch that my primary care could prescribe for the month that would cure me.  My Primary care said she didn't know of it and if there was she wouldnt prescribe it because of the dangers.  I currently take Zyrtec D- 12 Hour pills 3-4 a day :(  Also I used allergy eye drops and Afrin severe congestion spray.  If anyone has any other suggestions or has the same problem, I would love to hear if anything worked.   I would also feel like I wasn't the only one. 


Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 5/8/2011 7:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh you're definitely not alone Rob! My daughter gets severe allergies all year round and is on allergy shots too. One time her lymph nodes swelled up to the size of a quarter - scared us because we thought it might've been cancer but luckily it was allergies instead.

Here are a few extra tips in case you aren't implementing them at this time:
~Keep your windows closed
~Put cheesecloth over your vents - this will trap any allergens that escape thru your furnace filter
~If you are going to be outside for an extended period of time, use a mask - especially if you cut the grass.
~If you don't want to wear a mask, after coming in from outside, change your clothes and brush your hair - this will get the pollen off your body
~If you have pets, do the same - brush them to remove the pollen BEFORE allowing them in the home
~It's best if you shower at night before going to bed so you are not taking the pollen in the bedroom with you
~Use hypo allergenic pillow covers
~Keep the air moist (but not too moist), this will help prevent the pollen from flying around in your home. Using a humidifier can help and you can get these monitors that show how much moisture is in the air
~Your bedroom should be your "safe" room - it should be as clean as possible in every sense of the word. No carpet, no curtains (roller blinds or shades only), hypo allergenic covers, and an air purifier. You are in your room consistently at least 8 hours a night so this room should be as allergen free as possible.

Pollen is a nasty (albeit useful) little bugger! My allergies too are in full swing and right now I use Zyrtec and Singulair but I've been sneezing a lot lately. It must be a bad season.
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
~Left sided Uc-'92**Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines**
Colazal(9 daily)/6mp(50mgs)/Bentyl-Prilosec~allergies-Singulair/Zyrtec~Reynauds~OA-Tylonel Arthritis~Scoliosis~Sacroilitis~Dry eye-Restasis~GAD-Klonopin (.25mgs)~Rosacea-Metrogel/Elidel~IBS~Diverticulosis~Fibromyalgia

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 5/10/2011 7:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Rob,
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.

Good luck!

New Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 5/10/2011 7:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Sherry - thanks for the info.

I have wall-unit air conditioners that basically vent outdoor air inside. I have looked for HEPA or allergen-specific filters to replace the standard filter inside but with no luck. Do you think cheesecloth would help keep pollen out? Are the pores small enough? Also, how often do you change the cheesecloth.

I usually just try to use the air conditioner as little as possible, but in the summer it gets so hot I just have to cave sometimes!


The CA Kid
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 5/11/2011 1:43 AM (GMT -6)   
I have suffered years on and off with seasonal bronchitis and this years timing and the online local reporting for pollen counts allowed me to deduce my family and i are allergic to tree pollens, which began in December --we are surround by trees, where we live, so i read with interest your allergy shot experience.....that or homeopathic drops would be my next recourse... I found a neat tip for a cheap air cleaning device....that is to use a large box fan and attach a good air filter to the side of fan that draws air in (filter like 3M, similar , mine was 20by20by1, and is identified as allergen reducing) with small bungees, or duct tape,,,the room air is pulled right into the filter mounted on the fan..I figured so low cost, it cannot hurt to try it.., after some time, ask someone to remove, bag and dispose of the filter for you, and replace.......I recently found a youtube video by accident and the poster was a young girl who was so severely affected by WHERE she lived--had terrible lung troubles..she and her mom and brother all moved from Iowa to Florida coastline, where her health improved greatly...my G'pa was a serious athsmatic, and the only time he found relief was each summer vacationing 2 weeks on the Oregon coast!! hope that might help....

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 5/11/2011 6:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Allergy_grrl, what I do is take the cheesecloth and fold it over so it's twice the filteration. I don't see why it wouldn't work on an A/C unit. I would change the cheesecloth every 2 weeks - a month, depending on how dirty it got.
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
~Left sided Uc-'92**Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines**
Colazal(9 daily)/6mp(50mgs)/Bentyl-Prilosec~allergies-Singulair/Zyrtec~Reynauds~OA-Tylonel Arthritis~Scoliosis~Sacroilitis~Dry eye-Restasis~GAD-Klonopin (.25mgs)~Rosacea-Metrogel/Elidel~IBS~Diverticulosis~Fibromyalgia
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