Allergic to weird things
April 13, 2008 10:30 PM   Subscribe

New to allergies. WTF?

I can sleep with a dog. Fine. No problem. A couple of Claritin and I'm fine except....

I'm allergic to carpet! WTF?

Gah! carpet makes my eyes bleed! What's up? My carpet doesn't make my eyes bleed. Concrete room is fine, eat breakfast, go to carpeted room "OW! eyes burn."

Any help? Nothing ever bothered me until one day carpet...
posted by zengargoyle to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
Go to an allergist.
posted by kldickson at 10:32 PM on April 13, 2008

Could be something to do with the glue. Could be some bugs living in the carpet. Could be something to do with a dust allergy. Could be someone who entered the room before you.

Due to a post nasal drip caused by my allergy to *dust* in Texas, my esophagus has been eroded so much by living here that I'm having to look at relocating to another state.
posted by SpecialK at 10:51 PM on April 13, 2008

Best answer: I suffer from some terrible allergies, mostly just dust and cats but pollen in the spring is my enemy as well. Exposed to those things, I could be laid out for a day or two in bed sneezing and fluid weeping from my red eyes. Could be that there's some dust or dust mites in the carpet, so dust might be your trigger here.

I have found that the best way for controlling my allergies is to opo some Horeradish & Garlic tablets on a daily basis. I take 4 per day just before I go to bed, and doing this stops allergies from having any major hold on me. It's not fool-proof... consider it more a strengthener for your defenses, but it might be a way of ensuring that carpet dosen't get the best of you in the future.
posted by Effigy2000 at 11:04 PM on April 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

"I have found that the best way for controlling my allergies is to opo pop some Horeradish & Garlic tablets on a daily basis."

Fixed that for... erm... me.
posted by Effigy2000 at 11:22 PM on April 13, 2008

Best answer: I'm not sure I understand your question. Is it "even though my own carpet doesn't bother me, and I'm not allergic to anything else, there is a room with carpet in it that does bother me." Is that it?

If carpet is the only thing you're allergic to, check out the chart here, since the first four relate to carpet. New carpet offgasses a lot. Recently-cleaned carpet can have some nasty stuff on it, since many carpet cleaners, particularly stain removers, contain tetrachloroethylene / perchloroethylene or other nasty chemicals. And as I was trying to find this, I came across this page, which says "Carpets tend to hold onto everything, including pesticides, air pollutants, lead and mercury. Carpets also harbor dust mites and can easily become moldy. Both dust mites and mold are potent asthma and allergy triggers. For these reasons, proper cleaning of carpets is essential. You can learn how to do so safely in How to Clean Carpets without Dangerous Chemicals."
posted by salvia at 11:23 PM on April 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

salvia, above, seems to have covered it, but I also am wondering if it's all carpet everywhere or just a particular carpet in your home. Assuming it's yr home, you may be in luck. It's almost certainly something in the carpet that's triggering your misery. Cleaning chemicals? Visitor perfume/cologne? Friends cat? Whatever, try a through carpet cleaning and air the place out and see if you still have a problem.
posted by dawson at 11:46 PM on April 13, 2008

I recall from a recent thread that dust mites are seasonal. The cold weather kills them but in spring they come back. So it could be a dust mite allergy starting up. That would explain the timing. (There are lots of seasonal allergens, though.)
posted by PercussivePaul at 12:06 AM on April 14, 2008

Response by poster: salvia yes!
I travel a bit across country, I've got the plants and pollen thing down. It doesn't really bother me anymore (at least on Claritin type allergy meds).

This ><>
I'm a geek, it's carpet. I've been watching for months and have traveled over many states, watching closely everything. I feel plants in my eyes, but it's no big deal.. I can sleep with a dog or cat, but carpet fucks me up.

Thanks 'salvia', I'll read and maybe hit doctor.
posted by zengargoyle at 12:31 AM on April 14, 2008

Sounds like a dust mite allergy to me. A doctor can do an allergy test and probably give you the specific cause. This is good knowledge to have, because there are steps you can take to reduce the amount of allergens you're exposed to.
posted by chrisamiller at 1:47 AM on April 14, 2008

You may be allergic to the horsehair battening used underneath some carpets (between the carpet and the flooring), not the carpet itself.
posted by Asparagirl at 7:24 AM on April 14, 2008

Response by poster: I think salvia has it. It's places where you think "Janitorial Service", and it gets better the longer they don't clean (conferences and the like where they set up a room with tables and the first couple of days *burn* but it gets better by the end of the week and/or you hang the "do not disturb" sign on the hotel door for a week). It's something I can smell.
posted by zengargoyle at 8:57 AM on April 14, 2008

Well, I feel your pain. I had an allergy scratch test done and I even swelled up as allergic when they pricked me with the control substance. So I have to have my house cleaned every week to get rid of all dust and I haven't had carpet in years. I have to live entirely with hardwood floors and tile because too many allergens collect in carpet. As others have said, it's probably not the carpet itself you're allergic to, it's what's settled IN the carpet. (My grandfather used to love putting dark shag carpet in his apartment rentals because "You can never tell when it's dirty so you never have to replace it." This is exactly the problem I have with it. Yuck!)

I'm also allergic to the hashbrowns served in 50% of restaurants and 1/5 of wines produced. 'Cuz apparently put sulfites on some frozen potatoes and in all wine. But I never know *which* bottle or potatoes I should avoid until after a taste and my throat starts closing up and I start coughing.

I was told by the allergist that I should go in for twice-weekly allergy shots for the next two to three years and that would help me. Others say it's helped them though. So you might want to do allergy shots. I just hate shots and can't imagine myself willfully agreeing to that many for such a long period of time for any reason. I'm a baby.
posted by miss lynnster at 12:30 PM on April 14, 2008

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