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Do You Have Allergies?

I have always had allergies, seasonal mostly, but usually could deal with them by taking antihistamines. Last spring, I had a severe case of allergic conjunctivitis, and had to have steroid eye drops twice.  As it turned out, I was allergic to the OTC allergy eye drops.  I think my allergies really ramped up after Cushing's.  The steroid exposure in Cushing's can really suppress things like allergies.

I ended up having allergy testing and found out for sure that I was mostly allergic to cats, dogs, mold, and dust.  I did all the steps they told me, including getting a new rug downstairs because our old wool rug shed like crazy.  I went back to the allergist today because I am consistently congested, blowing my nose, and using allergy eye drops no matter what the season.  Apparently cat allergies are pretty much the worst to have because it's a light and sticky allergen, meaning it goes EVERYWHERE.  If I was around someone with a cat, and they had cat dander on their clothes, it could get onto my clothes, and if I don't go directly to the washing machine, it sticks to other clothes, carpet in my room, bedding, etc.  It's like a snowball effect.

It's hard for me to avoid people with animals all together so I decided to start allergy shots for cats, dogs, and mold.  I had my first shot today and will have them weekly for 6 months, then monthly for 3-5 years.  It's a pretty big commitment but most people have great relief starting at 3-4 months.  This visits are only 20 minutes, but today I stayed a little longer to make sure I didn't have a big reaction.  Normally, I would only have to wait for a few minutes.  I'm excited to be almost allergy free soon!

Have you ever had severe allergies?  Do OTC medications do the trick or have you had allergy shots?  What did you think of them?

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