Post # 1
I have two cats which I am allergic to (both cats and dogs). I won’t be getting rid of them. I was getting allergy shots for the past six years. At my last annual (in April) my doctor said I could stop if I wanted. He said that most people stop and most people do fine when stopping although some people relapse, and that I could stop and restart if I wanted to.
I stopped right after the wedding, mostly because I was due for my next set of shots (get them monthly) right after the wedding and I didn’t have time pretty much the rest of the summer to get the shots, due to working a lot more hours at work.
It’s now been about three months since my last shots and I feel like I may be getting worse although it could be in my head. I’ve been sneezing a lot and itchy eyes and don’t feel like it’s was like that as often with the shots but I can’t be sure. I’d hate to restart them if I’m not sure because it’s a long process (shots once a week for months to build up to the maintenance dose) and I’m pretty sure on my husband’s health insurance I’d have to pay copays for them, which I never did before. However, I’m nervous to wait and see because we’ve been talking about trying for a baby at the beginning of next year and while you can take shots while pregnant, you can’t start them while you’re pregnant.
I’m wondering if there are any fantastic allergy meds out there that I’m not yet onto that would help? I’m currently on Zyrtec, although I don’t take it regularly, only as needed. Does anyone take anything that’s worked great for them? Also, someone recommended Zyrtec-D to me. Can anyone tell me the difference between the two?
I’m also thinking of investing in a true HEPA air purifier and seeing how much that helps. Has anyone had one and has it made a big difference? I feel like I should exhaust some other avenues to improve the symptoms before I’d be ready to jump on the shot bandwagon again.
Post # 3
Post # 4
I switched from Zyrtec to Allegra and saw an improvement.
I also used to have a prescription nasal spray called Veramyst that worked wonders. It was about $125 a month, though, and you have to use it every day, so kind of expensive if you don’t have insurance.
I’m also constantly dusting and vacuuming and the bed sheets get changed regularly. Whenever possible, I keep windows closed to any outside allergens from getting into the house and the bedroom window never gets opened.
I’m not sure if it is available in the US, but I love Vicks Vapo Steam. When my allergies get really bad (like if I’ve been outside all day), I use that right before bed to clear up any congestion so I can sleep. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a eucalyptus and peppermint oil and you pour just a bit of it into a bowl of boiling water and breathe in the steam. An added bonus is that eucalyptus is an anti-bacterial and since I’ve been using that stuff regularly, it has cleared up my skin like I never would have thought possible.
Post # 5
@Edelweiss: Thanks! Maybe next time I get allergy pills I’ll try a different type of pill – it’s funny how some kinds for for some people and others for other people.
We’re also not so dilligent about keeping everything clean. We have a Roomba, and I kind of wish we had a regular vaccuum because we don’t use it enough for it to be super effective unfortunately.
Post # 6
Ohhh boy. I am super allergic to everything as well and can relate. I’m actually about to start getting allergy shots, but I’ve been through every medicine combination known to man. My nose also gets into a “cycle of swelling” as my doctor calls it (it gets agitated from something and just keeps re-agitating itself by swelling) and I have to get put on a predinose taper to just breathe.
What I’ve learned is that it’s trial and error. Preventative tasks also make a world of a difference–get an allergy cover for your mattress and pillows; wash your sheets at least once a week; dust (with gloves and a mask) once a week. I also second Veramyyst; it’s a steroid that brings swelling and irritation down in your nose. It’s pricy but totally worth it in my eyes–I’ll pay any price to breath, and it’s the only nasal spray that pretty much works on contact.
In my personal experience, I found Zyrtec ineffective and it made me drowsy (even though it says it doesn’t?) so I use fexofenadine (basically prescription Allegra) and also loratadine (Claritin) works great too.
Post # 7
I think I might need to consider switching allergy meds and giving that a try. I tried Claritin and Allegra ages ago and wasn’t wowed and then got on the Zyrtec, and then the generic but I’ve been reading a lot about how you can develop a tolerance to the allergy meds if you stay on specific ones for too long. I think I might give Allegra another shot.
Post # 8
I worked in allergy practice for seventeen years. A prescription nose spray would be helpful. As for your cats:
Keep them out of your bedroom if you can.
Bathe the cats if possible. Cats lick themselves so you get a double whammy from the fur and saliva.
HEPA filter air cleaner would help.
Always wash your hands after petting your cats and be careful you don’t touch your eyes, that’s torture.
You should not be the person grooming your cat or cleaning litter.
It’s possible that seasonal allergies are exacerbating your symptoms. Most people are allergic to more than one thing and spring through fall is worse. Don’t drive or sleep with windows open.
Zyrtec D has a decongestant added; that’s what the D always stands for, usually sedated. You can also try Zaditor eyedrops.
Hope this helps and you feel better.
Post # 9
I meant the D is Sudafed, auto correct changed my word..
Post # 10
We got an air purifier for our bedroom because our allergies were worse in the mornings and it seems to help.
Post # 11
Sudafed (the brand name of the “D” in Zyrtec-D) knocks me out if I take too much. I take one generic Zyrtec daily along with one tablet of generic Sudafed. Then I take another tablet of generic Sudafed in the evening if I’m feeling sniffly. The little red Sudafed pills are 1/2 the dose as can be found in most allergy-D medications.
Get a vacuum with a HEPA filter on it. This will do some much more for your allergies than an air filter. Commit to vacuuming very often (more than once a week). You might also consider keeping the animals out of the bedroom, or at least off of your pillow area.
Nasal sprays can help, but find one that you can be on long term. They’re not all created equally. I also use eye drops recommended to me by my eye doctor, although I’m not sure of the name right now.