Allergic Asthma Diagnosed At Age 70

When I was a kid, maybe 12 or so, I remember struggling to breathe as I bent closely over a vaporizer smeared with Vics VapoRub. I carried a box of tissues with me everywhere, and my friends teased me about my constant honking and sneezing. I got hooked on nasal spray and suffered the rebound effect (helps initially, then makes breathing even worse) until my mom, a nurse, broke down and took me to an allergist. He stated I didn’t have asthma but was allergic to dirt, mold, pollen, dog and cat dander, etc.

I took allergy shots, got better, was worse during pregnancy, then retook shots for a while, and did reasonably well with one notable exception (strong perfume) for 40 years. One evening at age 65, I realized the faint noise I kept hearing was me wheezing! Yikes!

My doctor treated me for allergic rhinitis again, but every year in December or January, I got sicker. Finally, about a year ago, I was diagnosed with asthma by my primary doctor. I was 70 years old. Unfortunately, I had a severe flare off and on for the last two months and may have to request a referral to a specialist. I don’t know why the diagnosis was delayed so long, but I am thankful to be feeling better.

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