How to get rid of this bronchitis for good?
July 25, 2015 9:35 PM   Subscribe

I'm a non smoking female in my 30s. Developed serious allergies over the past 3 years. Found out I'm allergic to any mold and dust. Was going for the shots until I found out I can't take them if I have chest congestion. What can I do?

I have chronic bronchitis, so after my first shot, I developed a cold and was sick for a month. I decided the shots will not be good for me but I need a way to get my allergies to clear up without steroids. My post nasal drip always turns into bronchitis and I need ideas. Please help because my doctors aren't helping any.
posted by InterestedInKnowing to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Please seek a second opinion for your chronic bronchitis. This can be the sign of something much more serious.
posted by k8t at 9:54 PM on July 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Maximum strength of both Sudafed and Mucinex available (generic store brand okay), taken together, eventually knocked out a three month bout of bronchitis for me. Now I take them whenever I get a cough and head it off within a few days.
posted by notquitemaryann at 9:55 PM on July 25, 2015

I agree that you need a second opinion. Have you seen a pulmonologist? An allergy/immunologist? (I presume at least the latter to prescibe allergy shots)

why would a healthy young nonsmoker have chronic bronchitis?

Did you ask the doctor who prescribed the allergy shots what to do?
in the meantime, have you tried saline rinses/neti pots? Many people swear by them for allergic rhinitis.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 11:15 PM on July 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

I had severe asthma until I threw out a down and chicken feather comforter I received as a wedding gift. So no feathers or down, or parakeets. Then the severe asthma came back years later and persisted until I realized I was allergic to my annual TB test at work. Pulmonologists were at odds about this but no tine test, no asthma and accompanying bronchitis and illness.

So find those triggers, and notice when you have good days, what is the difference in your environment. Something crept up on me last week, I used proventil for the first time in a decade. It was some iced tea from a restaurant. I won't drink that again.
posted by Oyéah at 11:18 PM on July 25, 2015

Are you taking an antihistamine? That's usually the first line of treatment for allergies IME. Claritan is a good one to start with. Seconding Mucinex as a good way to prevent infections. If you buy the generic, make sure it says extended release.
posted by entropyiswinning at 11:56 PM on July 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Have you tried Singulair? I hadn't had a decent deep breath in a couple of years before my gp started me on it. Cough-variant asthma is annoying as hell, and can be mistaken for chest congestion. Either way, it is something to ask about.

(I take singulair along with Allegra, Zyrtec, Astepro nasal spray and Mucinex every day, all OKed by my allergist, because I can't tolerate nasal steroids and am not covered for shots. If I get congested I will get a ragingly nasty sinus infection that makes me useless for about 6 weeks, so I take the Mucinex at night (generic 200 mg not extended release). All of the antihistamines control my allergies well enough that I need to use a rescue inhaler less than once a month. But the Singulair was the final piece that made it all work so that I don't have to try a steroid inhaler.)
posted by monopas at 12:21 AM on July 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Have you lived in the same place this whole time? I know multiple people including myself and my mother who had weird off and on/chronic respiratory problems that cleared up by moving.

Even if tests are inconclusive for mold, or the mold was supposedly dealt with, or whatever... Moving.

My first thought upon reading this was some insidious hard to pin down environmental issue. It's just happened to too many people I know. Some didn't even realize until way after they moved that "hey, I'm suddenly way healthier at this moment than I've been in ages AND way more consistently healthy".

Your next move might be well, a move.
posted by emptythought at 1:09 AM on July 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yeah, second opinion for sure. Also, look into getting a Prevnar booster. As a 40-ish former smoker and asthmatic with allergies, getting a Prevnar immunization has been life changing for me. I've gone from 5 or 6 sinus-to-bronchial infections a year to this year (it's almost August!) in which I've only had 2! It eats your brain and steals your energy to be sick all of the time, but you really need to push through and get to another doctor.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 4:08 AM on July 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The bedroom is full of horrible dust offenders and you live among the for many hours per day. Search online for a thorough article on reducing allergens. The cleaning up could overwhelm you, so consider paying someone else to do it or swapping favors with a friend. Then you can maintain the clean environment yourself.

An allergist once explained to me that if you can remove or greatly reduce the worst sources of dust mites, you reduce your sensitivity to the milder stuff. Once the body has sent out a lot of hits amines in reaction to your allergen- rich pillow and mattress, you'll experience heightened reactions to the less virulent sources of dust.

She also told me not to take 2 Claritin or Zyrtec in a day but it's okay to take one of each because they are completely different drugs.

I agree that you should talk with a different allergist about needing to be congestion-free before starting with the shots.
posted by wryly at 12:00 PM on July 26, 2015

I had chronic bronchitis as a young nonsmoker as well - in Tucson, I got to the point where I got an upper respiratory infection every 1-2 months. Horrible! I saw an ENT and an allergist, and finally moved to the east coast.

Turns out, it's cough-variant asthma pretty decent lung function. Singulair has been a godsend. I also take loratadine, because Zyrtec gives me nightmares/vivid dreams.
posted by bookdragoness at 6:03 PM on July 26, 2015

Seeing an ENT helped me a lot with a chronic cough that defied diagnosis. Also, a good ENT can help look at your facial structure to see if that is contributing to your problems.
posted by mermaidcafe at 6:43 AM on July 27, 2015

My sister is allergic to everything, and would get bronchitis every winter for many years. Things she has done to deal with this:

-- Moved to California where there is less mold/mildew around
-- No carpets in the common areas of the house or her bedroom
-- Dust covers on her mattress & pillows
-- Frequent changing/washing of linens
-- Frequent dusting in the house
-- Washing the dogs (yes, two) every week to keep their dander down

Because in addition to her allergies, she has asthma, she takes her medication every day. It's enough to help control it all, for the most part.

Good luck to you!
posted by suelac at 11:17 AM on July 27, 2015

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