Monday, June 27, 2016

Allergy -Snotty, Stuffy and Gaspy

Have I developed a late life allergy? I rarely get sick with colds and the flu but this Spring I contracted what I thought was a sinus cold. It just would not quit and I began to question the symptoms. Lungs felt fine but I had tightness in my upper chest airways along with a periodic dry cough. Runny nose along with pressure in the sinuses. What got me thinking it was something else was my eyes. They were not  always itchy or watery but rather my vision felt "off" some days. Things were just a little fuzzy as if my eyes were tired. That feeling you get if you have been staring at a computer screen for a long time.


That made me remember last summer when I developed an issue with my right eye after working the farm one Saturday. Felt like I may have gotten something in my eye while cutting shrubs and alders. Eventually the white of my eye swelled up to the point it was protruding over the bottom lid. Very painful and uncomfortable. I consulted a doctor who ruled out a viral or bacterial source. His diagnosis was an allergic reaction to something and I was treated with prescription eye drops. Never gave it another thought till last week.


My recent condition made no sense. I did not feel sick and there was no color to the abundant amounts of mucus I was expressing. In the evenings at home I felt better and usually slept well with little or no congestion, upper chest restriction or cough. Come the morning I felt clear which is unusual when suffering from a cold? As soon as I went outside all three symptoms began showing up. As well my eyes continued to feel "weird" and, some days, I had little sense of taste. Food and drink were bland.


The tipping point came this past Saturday morning as I was heading to Queen`s county to work on the farm. Feeling OK I drove out on the highway. Being a lovely sunny morning I rolled down the windows to enjoy the fresh air. Within minutes my sinuses exploded, airways tightened and I began coughing. It was like someone flipped a light switch.


That reaction validated what I had been thinking. Maybe it was not a sinus infection but rather an allergy? A quick Google of the allergy seasons here in Nova Scotia revealed we are in the dog days of tree and grass pollen.





 Taking it one step further I also searched for symptoms of pollen allergies, specifically known as Hay Fever. Checking off the list I have had all these symptoms at one point or another....



That potentially explains my current situation. Have I developed a later life allergy to pollens? Could my eye infection in the summer of 2015 have been the ground zero/ tipping point and the possible cause of said allergy? Certainly makes me wonder if I might had been exposed to something that day cutting undergrowth along the edge of the property?


Not sure how one actually gets an allergy diagnosis these days....is it referral from a doctor to a specialist? I have no idea? I have begun to research the topic in depth and in the meantime have decided to try over the counter allergy medicines. I am not a pill popper but if it offers some kind of relief from this snotty, stuffy and gasping existence I will definitely be happier.


Sidebar - On Sunday morning I opted to take the road bike out for a ride. Heading towards the coast I felt miserable but once I reached Herring Cove and the cool salty air I felt much better. Maybe I will need to morph once again and become a beach bum in my golden years (wink).