Developing hayfever?

Normally my asthma triggers aren't 'allergic' - more things like temperature, humidity, chemicals etc. And I had a negative skin prick test for common allergens last year (though a really high total IgE) - never had any symptoms of hayfever usually except a tendency to sneeze more than the average person which I just assumed was a bit of a random thing and not set off by anything.

However, the last week or so I've been sneezing more and having a slightly blocked/runny nose at times. Today it was really noticeable - eyes watering, blowing my nose a lot (my mum pointed out I was doing this more after being in a place with birch trees and when we were driving past various fields). I was kind of hoping - for the first time ever - that it was a cold and it still might be, but it got better when I came inside the house and worse just now after I went into my bedroom (window is open there but not in rest of house).

I asked the pharmacist and got some loratidine which seemed to work for a bit but then it came back.

Guess I'm quite surprised as I haven't had this before and was wondering if it's usually something that just develops like this - anyone else had this or have you always had it if you have it now? I know allergies are part of the 'atopic triad' (other two being asthma, of course, and eczema (which I have vv mildly) and my dad had a lot of allergies to complement all the asthma and eczema on my mum's side of the family, so it's not the most unexpected thing ever, but I hadn't really expected to get it now when I've not had these problems before.

Grrr. It doesn't feel as bad as breathing problems but it's still pretty annoying. Still hoping it's a cold (weird but at least that would go eventually) but if it's not am going to have to find an antihistamine that works - not impressed so far with the loratidine (or do you have to take it for a few days to get an effect?). I am already on a double dose of montelukast for the asthma so was a bit surprised that I'd still be having allergy problems if that's what this is - I wasn't given it for allergy but know it's meant to work well for that. But perhaps it only helps 'lung' allergies and not things affecting the nose/eyes?

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  • Loretadine is slow acting but It should last all day. The pollen count is high I would try some pition spread out through the day and go see GP and maybe get some prescription ones perhaps fexofenadine seems to be the one of choose my GP's these days nasel sprays are quite good to

    And Yes can still get hayfever on singulair ( I still get some on pred!)

  • Thanks Bird - good to know! I wasn't sure if I needed to see GP yet but will have a chat with pharmacist today anyway - my housemate takes cetirizine which seems to work well. If I can't get anywhere with OTC will defo see GP but thought I'd try the OTC first (not sure how long I need to give it).

    I'd avoided Piriton as it looked like a 'drowsy' one but will ask pharmacist.

  • Yes, I still get hayfever while taking antihistamines, montelukast, nasal spray and eyedrops. I have found fexofenadine not very effective for me, so take cetirizine, still doesn't do a great job, but combined with montelukast it reduces my symptoms considerable, without them I would be a snotty teary mess. I take it in the evening because of the drowsiness thing even though I don't think it's a problem for me. I also use eyedrops and nasal spray to relieve symptoms.

    I think Piriton is cetirizine, just much more exspensive.

  • I think Piriton is cetirizine, just much more exspensive.

    Piriton is chlorphenamine (every 4-6 hours, fast acting). Piriteze is cetrizine (one a day).

    You can buy Boots' / generic 'chlorphenamine maleate' for buttons - though I've found that the cheaper the generic, the more likely it is that I'm allergic to one of the fillers, so it's a bit of swings-and-roundabouts there!

    My GP tells me that we are the only country that classifies certrizine as a 'non-drowsy' antihistamine.

    Personally I take hydroxyzine hydrochloride at night, which is metabolised by the body into certrizine. For me, that, plus piriton for very acute symptoms (oral signs that I've eaten an allergen), is the best combo I've found.

    Hydroxyzine HCL is one of the oldest antihistamines, so pretty cheap (84 tablets, which lasts me a month, costs the NHS £2) so your GP should be willing to prescribe that one! It's also a very 'safe' drug - it's prescribed at 10-40 times the antihistamine dose as an anti-anxiety med. This means that I can massively top up on polleny days - though you do have to be careful of the sedation effects at high doses with asthma. The half-life is longer than piriton so it seems to keep me more stable, and there's no reason not to combine the two - the piriton is much quicker to get going (especially if you crunch it.. ew!)

    I tried fenofexadine - had high hopes as Triludan (its predecessor) was my antihistamine of choice until it was withdrawn for doing dodgy things to hearts and livers :) But it didn't work at all for me, though my sister likes it.

    Loratidine (Clarityn) will take quite a long time to be effective, though it does have the upside of being a mild SSRI - so even if your hayfever still sucks, you might feel slightly less sad about it ;)

    Unfortunately you're the classic age, P, to suddenly develop severe hay fever. We are also likely to have stupidly high pollen levels for the 3rd year in a row, as the very long, harsh cold weather makes the flora put extra effort into seeding the next generation.

  • Thanks Lou and Curiouser!

    :( re developing hayfever at my age - I really had no idea, interesting that mid/late 20s is classic though now I've googled it I know it can happen as an adult (well, I knew asthma could so why I thought hayfever wouldn't...) Had this vague and totally unscientific idea that as I'd never been 'allergic-y' or had hayfever before I never would have. Then I think about whether I'd be that surprised if someone else with asthma and eczema from childhood and both sides of the family having atopic conditions developed hayfever, and that kind of changes things...

    Thanks for all the medication advice. When you say loratidine takes a long time to be effective, do you mean it's an hour after you take it that it starts working, or it will do nothing for 3 days and then build up in your system and start working? I think I'll give it one more day and then try the cetrizine - should that generally start to work fairly quickly if it's going to? Just trying to gauge how long to go with all the OTC stuff before I give in and see my GP, who must be absolutely sick of me by now (and I may have to see him about a shoulder problem as well grr).

    Lou - :( that must be annoying! I know immune systems are essential but right now I wish mine would be a bit less enthusiastic and more discerning.

  • Thanks C, I got mixed up with piriton and piriteze, oops. Interesting to hear about the hydroxyzine hydrochloride.

    Philomela- lol, it'd be great if our immune systems were a little less enthusiastic at times. I hope you're able to manage the hayfever well. xxx

  • Just wanted to add that yes I have just started with hay fever (sneezing and ridiculously itchy roof of mouth/soft pallette) and was already on montelukast, I saw the gp who said ts likely to be tree pollen and that its late this year due to the weather, he's given me citrizine (because that's what he uses personally) and I noticed a difference after the second day, however I missed this mornings and have noticed the symptoms returning.

  • Thanks! Well, I think I'm going to give the loratidine one more day (now realised I paid too much for it...); I'm inside tomorrow mostly so hopefully it shouldn't be too bad (and at least it seems like I might be happy anyway hehe). If no improvement, the cetrizine sounds like a good bet.

    Tree pollen sounds likely for me too given the timing and when it seems worst. Though I'm sitting here in my house sneezing and with slightly burning eyes wondering how the pollen got inside - my lungs haven't been that happy about it either.

    I hope I haven't developed a dust allergy - I am far too lazy to have a dust allergy! :p

  • Thanks! Well, I think I'm going to give the loratidine one more day (now realised I paid too much for it...); I'm inside tomorrow mostly so hopefully it shouldn't be too bad (and at least it seems like I might be happy anyway hehe). If no improvement, the cetrizine sounds like a good bet.

    Happy anyway? Are you going to be poking brains and eating chocolate? lol.

    Tree pollen sounds likely for me too given the timing and when it seems worst. Though I'm sitting here in my house sneezing and with slightly burning eyes wondering how the pollen got inside - my lungs haven't been that happy about it either.

    Deffo tree pollen atm. When I'm bad I do get some relief by going indoors but will still have symptoms, as pollen is still on clothing, in hair and in eyes/nose. Having a shower and changing clothes is a good idea.

    I hope I haven't developed a dust allergy - I am far too lazy to have a dust allergy! :p

    Lol. I'm so glad I don't have a dust allergy for the same reasons.

  • Grass pollen has also started by now - its not in its peak months, but its active. Im not allergic to anything other than grass (environmental wise) and my asthma is acting up terribly - just like previous years.

  • i first developed typical hay fever symptoms in my mid 30's .

    In my experience Lortadine takes a few days to kick in - three sounds about right, but if you don't feel better even after three, give it a little more time and consider making an appointment with the GP to discuss.

    I am also on monoleucast, but still get allergy related runny nose, post nasal drip. My allergist recently switched me to Telfast.

    Allergies are sneaky - I never thought I was allergic, but I just had skin tests this week and I am mega allergic to olive trees and certain pollens. Grass is also an issue.

    The allergist thinks the asthma attack that put me in the hospital was due to the olive trees coming into bloom that week.

  • I first developed hayfever at about 25, then my asthma came back a couple of years later. None of the OTC antihistamines were working for me so I take Fexofenadine. Oddly although my hayfever was quite bad and affecting my asthma in the yew tree pollen season in March, it's not that bad at the moment - normally May is the worst month for me. Asthma not too bad either - little bit breathless and tight in the morning and evening but usually not even enough to bother with ventolin for.

  • Happy anyway? Are you going to be poking brains and eating chocolate? lol.

    lol! I was referring to Curiouser saying that loratidine is a mild SSRI, but in fact I've been running an experiment today, and I had some chocolate cake from the farmer's market, so that's actually about right hehe.

    The loratidine may have been working better today but hard to tell as I was indoors in a windowless room (experimental cubicle) for a lot of it. So will give it another day - and it I keep on with it will defo not buy from Boots again - it's 6 times cheaper in Tesco!

    Seems I'm definitely not alone then, sadly. I wonder what triggers it? I know why my asthma came back (swine flu when I was 23) but not sure what brought this on.

    SPookymilo - glad it's not too much of a problem atm. NurseFurby and Beth - hope it becomes less of a pain for you soon!

    I am hoping not to acquire any more triggers...

  • You can not be suddenly allergic, anyway it happened not suddenly something caused it. For somtimes the reason can be season changing, or lack of immune or even depression. First of all, you have to be diagnosed whith doctor and after you can try some home remedies.

  • But the triggers for an allergic reaction can change in an individual, and some people can suddenly become very much more 'sensitive' than they used to be. My mother was a very good example of the latter. She'd never had a dose of hayfever in her life - until she became pregnant with me. Then she suffered appallingly from streaming hayfever until I was born when things calmed down again. I certainly don't recall her having a problem with hayfever. I was her third, and last, child - interestingly, I was also the only one of the three to have ezxma, asthma and non seasonal rhinitus.

  • I take cetirizine 10mg in a morning and fexofenadine 180mg in an evening. I use nasal spray twice a day and can double nasal spray if needed. I get so breathless between march and October each year. I get allergic asthma with a fantastic phelgmy cough. I often frighten people by choking on the white phelgm the allergies create.

    I have only ever swelled up to egg and mushroom.

    While most people are ill in winter I am at my healthist as my airborne allergies are gone.

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