Allergy Season Means My Asthma Takes a Hit!
Here in the UK, our fall allergy season is in full swing. Pollen levels are high, and there seems to be a steady haze across the sky. As I'm sure you can all imagine, the environment is not the ideal condition if you suffer from a load of allergies, as I do.
A cascade of allergic reactions
I am finding life a little more challenging at the moment because once an allergic reaction slips through the net of all my current medications coursing throughout my system, additional reactions pile on as well.
Managing several allergies can take more time than you might realize. For instance, getting ready in the mornings takes me over an hour. Even as I type this article, I have to stop to itch my skin, cough, or wipe my streaming eyes. It's a nightmare! And it seems to be getting worse as I get older. Perhaps that is not true, but it feels like it is the case anyway.
Taking many medications for asthma management
This morning I took my usual medications to control asthma: Loratadine (an antihistamine), Ventolin (albuterol), and Seretide (bronchodilator). My asthma is terrible right now. So, I am trying to manage it, so my symptoms do not spiral to dangerous levels.
Feeling my immune system deteriorating
My peak flow is lower than it should be, and to be honest, I know without testing it. I can feel it. Skin-wise, I am in a bit of a mess too. It's incredible to think how quickly my immune system can start to deteriorate.
If you had seen me just 3 weeks ago or so, I looked like an ordinary healthy person. Okay, perhaps if you didn't look too closely, but I was happy with how I controlled things. Now, I look like an extra from Edgar Wright's classic comedy-horror film, Shaun Of The Dead. My eyes are red and watery; my eczema is flaring, so my skin is dry and scaly on my face, arms, and neck. And to top it all off, asthma makes my breathing short and labored.
Consulting my doctor for changes to my treatment plan
Unfortunately, my asthma takes a bit of a hit in higher allergy seasons. There are ways to minimize the impact of allergies on my asthma, and I thought I was already doing enough. But either the current environment is worse than usual for this time of year, or I haven't done enough. It could be a combination of both.
With the assistance of my primary doctor, I can increase the dosage of my medications. I have already increased the dosage once, but I think I need to increase it again. I think I need some more potent antihistamines, but apart from increasing the doses of my meds, there is not a great deal more I can do...or is there?
Has anyone got any good tips? For me, it is just a case of getting your head down, getting through the season, and hoping for the best!
Do you carry an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen) with you?