A box of tissues sits next to a window with flowers outside.

How Are You Doing This Allergy Season?

How are you doing this spring allergy season? Me? Oh, I am doing fairly well. My treatment regimen is adjusted perfectly. And this makes it so I actually feel pretty normal for this time of year. And I’m happy about that.

Springtime used to be miserable for me!

Finding no relief: Allergy season with asthma

In the past, I’d always be sniffling and sneezing this time of year – even when my asthma wasn’t acting up. The sniffling and sneezing represented good asthma days. If I participated in "adventures" in the yard, per se, my eyes would also become red and itchy. And, if I gave in to the urge to rub them, they’d become swollen. And I would lie on my bed, turn the Detroit Tigers on, and listen to announcers Paul Carrie and Ernie Harwell.

“And he sat there like a car on the side of the road and watched that one go by,” Ernie would chant. Or, “And he hit a long fly ball into the left-field stands. A man from Ludington, Michigan, came down with that one.” It was always soothing hearing their voices.

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And mom would give me a cool, damp washcloth to put over my eyes.

I don’t know why, but my doctor told my mom that I should not use antihistamines. So, there was nothing I could take to ease the suffering back then. Today we know it’s safe to use antihistamines. But I rarely need them, as my doctor has prescribed medicines that are far better to keep my springtime allergies in check.

Springtime without asthma symptoms

I now feel normal in the springtime on most days.

So long as I don’t participate in certain projects, my allergies and asthma stay in check, even in the springtime. This is like a small miracle to me. Most people take springtime for granted. But considering my past, I do not take it for granted. I appreciate every day I can enjoy the fresh, cool breeze without feeling symptoms.

I do have my moments, but they are never as bad as, say, 20 years ago. For instance, yesterday I decided to clean the garage. And, despite being exposed to lots of allergens in there, I did not experience any symptoms. But then it came time to sweep the garage. I usually wear an N-95 mask with snowmobile goggles. I look funny, but at least I can sweep without inhaling anything.

But yesterday, I also decided to test my allergy shots. I have been taking them for a year. The only way to see if they are working is to test them out. So, I swept the garage without putting anything over my mouth, nose, and eyes. And, to my dismay, it backfired. My lungs got tight – very tight.

I had to take a shower as soon as I went into the house. And I found this was a difficult task given I was pretty short-winded. Then when I was done, I found my nebulizer and took a nice long treatment. Interestingly, this was all I needed to get my wind back. And that was it. It did not take me 3 days to recover from this, as would have been the case in the past. So, perhaps the allergy shots are working.

Bouncing back faster

A day later, I sit here writing about this experience and have zero symptoms. My nose is not running. My eyes are not itching. My chest is not tight. It’s a revelation of sorts. So, despite yesterday’s flare-up, I’m feeling pretty good this spring. And I’m happy about that.

So, back to my opening question: How are you doing this spring? Please share your story in the comments below.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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