Can hayfever be this bad?
October 16, 2018 3:10 PM   Subscribe

It’s spring in Australia, yay! But I have my usual bout of hayfever, but this year it seems to be particularly bad. I’m pretty sure I had a cold last week, but that I think is resolved, but I am still left with feeling, well, really crappy and am even taking time off work.

I have post-nasal drip, so a sore throat that can keep me awake at night and uncomfortable during the day. My head is blocked and has a persistent dull pain. My ears hurt a lot of the time too. Of course, the usual symptoms also: nose is runny, my eyes are itchy and I’m sneezing a lot. I’m feeling tired, and exasperated. I’m taking an antihistamine, nasal decongestant and nasal steroid, and sometimes paracetamol or ibuprofen for the sore throat. Maybe I’m overdoing it, but the pharmacist said this is the way to go. I welcome any suggestions. Desperate.
posted by summerinwinter to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I suffered a lot this summer (in the UK) until I switched antihistamine, and it got a LOT better. Have you tried switching? (Not brands, but active ingredient, I think I switched from Loratadine to Cetrizine - I think certain ingredients work better on different people)
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:39 PM on October 16, 2018

Best answer: In order to stay out of the cycle of getting sick with common cold virus and sinus infections due to allergies, I have to take a combined antihistamine and decongestant (pseudoephedrine) constantly and at fairly high doses. Additionally, I use a sinus irrigation bulb to wash my nasal passages and sinuses with saline daily (often twice a day). The irrigation isn't hard, it just seems a bit overwhelming before you actually try it. I used YouTube instruction videos to get comfortable with it. For me, it's the step that makes everything else I'm doing actually work optimally.
posted by quince at 4:23 PM on October 16, 2018

Best answer: Hello you. This is also me. The constant headaches, the inability to breathe properly, and the general zombie-fication of your life. Oh yeah - I get it.

No word of a lie, I've tried every single over the counter medication out there and while some worked better than others, nothing was perfect and sometimes the side effects (tiredness, nosebleeds, etc etc) were not worth it.

Currently I'm on Dymista and it's pretty much been the best thing ever so far. It's a pricey, prescription-only, once a day, nasal spray. It does not give me horrendous nosebleeds (looking at you Rhinocort and friends), it does not make me sleepy or dizzy, and it works so well that I was out in the bush surrounded by wattle and didn't sneeze once, let alone die from the face aches.

The downside is that you've got to get a prescription which means a doctors appointment, it's about $50 for a small spray bottle, and it tastes absolutely VILE if it goes down the back of your throat.

YMMV, but it might be worth a try?
posted by ninazer0 at 5:06 PM on October 16, 2018

Best answer: If you just started the nasal steroid, and it's Flixonase (Flonase), take heart! It can take about a week for it to properly kick in. I find it helps more than anything else once it does kick in, though. As mentioned above, switching oral antihistamines can help a lot, if what you have isn't working. Both antihistamines and allergies themselves can cause exhaustion, unfortunately, so it's hard to tell what is unmanaged symptom and what is side effect, but a different med might work better.

Neti pots are also really helpful -- I find them more comfortable than other sinus sprays and washes, although everyone has different feelings on that. Some form of nasal saline rinse, done morning and evening, can really help.

Keeping windows closed, immediately showering / washing your hair / changing clothes every time you come in from outdoors, and keeping all outdoor clothes and shoes in a closet by the front door (or at least out of your bedroom) will help keep pollen levels indoors low, so your body can recuperate.
posted by halation at 5:06 PM on October 16, 2018

Best answer: It seems to be a bad hayfever season this year, possibly because farmers are cutting crop for hay a bit earlier than normal. It is also dry and windy.
I can identify with all your symptoms, except mine progressed to a chesty cough.
I thought I had the dreaded 100 day cough (aka whooping cough) because it would just not. Go. Away. Got a nasal swab from the GP, no bacteria or viruses. It's hay fever.

The game changer has been Telfast and Ventolin. Also remember heat is an anti-histamine, so hot drinks help, as do hot face cloths.

Good luck fellow sufferer!
posted by freethefeet at 1:24 AM on October 17, 2018

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. I've got some good tips. Switched my anti-histamine which I think is working. But will look at other options if symptoms persist! Good to know I'm not going crazy, well I am, slightly, but things are looking up. But yes, nice to see I'm not the only one with ridiculous hayfever. It's terrible to look forward to the end of spring - otherwise such a lovely season...
posted by summerinwinter at 7:00 PM on October 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

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