Do I Have Allergies?
July 13, 2004 6:20 AM   Subscribe

Do I have allergies? (more inside)

First off: I'm not looking for medical advice, just comments from anyone who does have allergies and maybe recognizes my "symptoms" as such. If it does ever get worse, of course I'll go to a proper doctor, right now I'm just placating curiosity.

So here's the story: I have always tended to sneeze often, but I never really thought about it. However, over the past year or so I've had a constant overproductive nose. I haven't needed to blow it, but there's plenty of muscus and mostly not clear (but instead, other fun colors). It isn't anything truly irritating or impending on any part of my life, but it makes me wonder if I am allergic to something.

The points against it being an allergy is that it hasn't increased or decreased in response to any regular factor. My family has always kept many pets, but I don't live with them anymore. I've always been active outdoors and doubt it's pollen or anything else seasonal. It's been there winter and summer, and regardless of where I'm living (which has variously been southern suburban Ontario, coastal Maine, and rural northern Maine). The only thing I've every reliably concluded as being a trigger for a sneeze or two is ingesting strongly flavored/aromatic mints, otherwise I just sneeze more often than other people. I've used google many times to look up allergies, but I don't suffer from any of the comonly listed symptoms, no congestion or watery eyes, etc.

So am I just a snotty kid, or mildly allergic to everything? Again, I'm not suffering from it (the mint thing is actually a decent party trick), but I just wonder sometimes what causes it, and worry it might get worse, especially since the snot thing is a relatively recent development. Thanks!
posted by nelleish to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
 
If your snot is yellow, you probably have an infection. Get thee to the doctor.
posted by agregoli at 6:29 AM on July 13, 2004


Yup. Mucus produced solely by an allergic reaction is usually clear. Mucus color is the first question an allergist asks to rule out infection, and if it's not clear, it's not just allergies. IANAD, but my dad is an allergist and I only heard him ask "What color is your mucus" several thousand times.
posted by ulotrichous at 6:51 AM on July 13, 2004


Mucus produced solely by an allergic reaction is usually clear. Mucus color is the first question an allergist asks to rule out infection, and if it's not clear, it's not just allergies. IANAD, but my dad is an allergist and I only heard him ask "What color is your mucus" several thousand times.
posted by ulotrichous at 6:58 AM on July 13, 2004


I know someone who thought she had allergies due to similar symptoms as you describe, but once she went to a doctor about them, they found a rhinolith that developed over the course of 30 odd years.

One minor surgery later, she's a very happy, non-sneezy, non-sniffly person.
posted by majick at 7:02 AM on July 13, 2004


But for over year? With no other obvious symptoms? I'm not discounting the possibility, asking for more information! For one, it's not vividly colored, like I've been told to associate with infections. About 30% it IS clear.

I'm also willing to conceed the fact I might just be weird.

On Preview: Oh ew, majick. I guess I do have to go to the doctors.
posted by nelleish at 7:05 AM on July 13, 2004


The only way to now for sure is to go to an allergy doctor and be tested. If your medical insurance will cover it, I highly recommend it. I put up with contant colds and sinus infections for 5 years. I was tested and found out I was allergic to pet dander, mold. and dust mites. I have been on Zyrtec and Flonase for 9 months without one cold or sinus infection. My next step will be to get allergy shots because Zyrtec, while it is the only thing that works for me, makes me tired.
posted by internal at 8:00 AM on July 13, 2004


Looks like I need to go to an allergist too. I love it when someone posts my question for me, especially when I hadn't even realized I should be asking it.
posted by orange swan at 8:04 AM on July 13, 2004


I had a sinus infection and didn't know it for over 6 months, so a year isn't surprising to me. Believe me, go to the doctor, after I got the infection out of me, I couldn't get over how much better I felt.
posted by agregoli at 10:15 AM on July 13, 2004


I had a nagging cough for years. Nothing serious, and it wasn't bad all the time, it just kinda never went away. I finally went to the allergist and found out that I'm allergic to pretty much everything (trees, grasses, feathers, cats, dogs, etc...). So, as it turns out, there was something in every season that affected me.

Now I'm on Allegra and I've got some nasal sprays and I feel much better (and don't annoy my neighbors and co-workers with my cough). It never hurts to go see an allergist. But it sounds like you should see your doctor first.
posted by MsVader at 12:08 PM on July 13, 2004


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