So hubby has long known that he has typical spring allergies and animal allergies, not from any testing but just because it was OBVIOUS, ya know? :) Well he finally just got a formal allergy test and it revealed a ton of stuff, some we weren't expecting.
He's severely allergic to grass pollen -- they tested 4 species and he got them all at the highest level. A few trees, a number of weeds. Mild allergy to egg whites and egg yolks -- that was a surprise! High allergy to cats -- allergist said "you should not be living with cats". We have two, and there's no way I can live without cats, and he agrees... (My mother is also highly allergic to cats but the benefits were worth the hassle to her as well)
He's also highly allergic to dust mites. They tested wheat, fish, nuts, and there was no allergic response there. It's all airborne stuff -- except for the eggs.
They tested his lungs and he had only a 70% lower lung value... he runs 15k with no problems so they'd certainly expect him to have better lungs than that. Good indicator of swelling from allergies.
He's never had a really serious attack where he couldn't breathe at all, but the allergist wants him to have a ventalin puffer just in case, because his levels were so high. Plus he's going to start a series of allergy shots... 1x/week for a whole year, then 1/month, then I forget the schedule but it's a pretty intensive thing. We're also going to get some kind of Hepa filter air purifier for the house. Allergist said if he won't get rid of the cats, at least keep them out of the bedroom... :(
Anyway, just looking for any tips, suggestions, commiseration... I'm not allergic to a thing (except earrings heh) so I'm just not used to dealing with this sort of thing.
My husband and I are both allergic to a multitude of things. A lot of it is about deciding what it's worth it to you to avoid. The main problem as I understand it is that there can be permanent changes to lung tissue if there's a prolonged allergic reaction (dr. will probably be better to ask about this). Because of that we have eliminated a lot of things in our lives that we know are triggers (we also kept the cat). The other consideration is that apparently allergy testing is notorious for false positives and the best way to know if each thing is an important allergen for him is to eliminate those things and then reexpose for a week and see what his reaction is. Good luck with it. Allergies do suck, but they are also something it becomes pretty easy to live with once you've made lifestyle modifications.
About a year ago I was dx'd with a butt ton of allergies as well. I knew I had some, but I had no idea it was this many, or this severe. Of the 80 things I was tested for I am allergic to well over half. With varying ranges of severity. I'm extremely allergic to cats. I can't imagine being without my cats though so I chose to keep them. All 4 of them. I'd rather take a ton of allergy meds than do without my cats. They are necessary for my mental health.
My allergist basically said that since I'm an adult it's basically up to me how I want to handle my allergies. What risks I want to take. For example I'm allergic to corn but I'm not willing to completely eliminate it from my diet (since that's really hard and VERY limiting) so I'm willing to deal with the allergic reaction I get. Some things weren't as important so I said goodbye to them. Other things aren't as simple to eliminate though. I'm allergic to each and every tree, grass, weed, etc they tested me for. Unless I live in a vacuum it'll be impossible to stay away from all that. I've found it's super important to take my allergy meds consistently. If I start to feel itchy then it's too late. The meds won't be as effective.
All in all it's been doable. My allergies aren't life threatening at this point, but if they get that bad in the future obviously it'll require reevaluating the situation.
Good luck to you and your husband. :)
You got pretty good advice: start in the bedroom. We also have a cat inside. We spent a lot of money to replace the carpet with laminate flooring, and that made a *huge* difference. We vacuum the couch regularly, thankfully we already had a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
We encased pillows and mattresses. We wash bedding weekly, actually for the blankets it's just a hot-water rinse because we wash so often, followed by a hot dryer. The down comforters go in the dryer every night this time of year as I've noticed that it reduced congestion (mold or mildew?)
We've been told to air the house daily, even in the dead of winter. A dehumidifier keeps the bedroom humidity down. Use bathroom and kitchen vents religiously and watch for visible mold and mildew.
That's pretty much all we've done. We do have to close up the house on those gorgeous days sometimes because of grass pollen, and the bedroom window stays shut during that time, except for 5 minutes every day. Don't line dry clothes or sheets during high-pollen season :( and if the pollen is really bad shower from head to toe right before bed.
Use a neti pot, but I find that when my nose is spewing it's effectiveness wanes. For me it works best right now when my nose is more stuffy than runny.
Food allergies can affect the lungs. Corn and peanuts make my lungs tickley and I can't get a good, full breath of air.
Well...... that's all I'm willing to do. I won't expel my cat from the house or keep the windows closed all the time and the HEPA filter running all the time. Good enough.....
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