Friday, 24 April 2015

Allergies and Hayfever

Allergy UK  held their allergy awareness week #LivingInFear this week, and I decided to dedicate this week of blog posts to allergies in honour of this.

For my last post, I thought I'd mention other types of allergic reactions other than the scary anaphylaxis.

Thankfully many people don't experience anaphylaxis with every reaction.  This doesn't mean, however, that the experience is a pleasant one.

A lot of my reactions from foods consist of hives (urticaria, see link at the end of the post), itching, both on my skin and in my mouth/throat, nausea and sickness, stomach cramps and diarrhoea and some make me wheezy. (I have asthma)

Usually a couple of antihistamine tablets and a few pumps of my inhaler sorts things out, but I always make sure I have easy access to my epipens in case things don't calm down.  See my post about /how and When to use an epipen

An allergy which many people have at this time of year is more commonly known as hayfever.  Hayfever can leave you feeling really miserable with constant sneezing, itchy, runny eyes and an itchy throat. 

Allergy UK have a page on hayfever here

Myself, J and R all suffer, with R being the worst.  If he's not kept dosed up with antihistamines from April-August his eyes can swell up severely, and I'm not just talking about his eyelids, but his actual eyeballs! 

The first time it happened, he was in year 1 (6yrs old) he went out with his class to practice for sports day, within 10 minutes of being outside his teaching assistant came rushing back in with him as his eyeball had swollen up.  Everyone thought he had been stung and I rushed him to our Dr's surgery, who promptly sent us to the eye clinic at the local hospital. Who confirmed that it was a reaction to pollen.  This happened again the following summer when he popped into the garden before school to make a habitat for a small animal as part of his homework, and used cut grass. 

So now I know to start him on the antihistamines and eye drops at the beginning of April.  Last year, apart from incredibly itchy eyes at times, sneezing and itching, he was a lot better, so I am hoping he is no worse this year.  Because of the time of year in which he is worst, I suspect that he is allergic to grass pollen.  I dry all of our clothes inside over this time, and keep the window to his room closed unless the pollen count is low, I use an app on my phone to keep up to date on pollen counts. (I use one from Benadryl)  Then I use an air purifier with HEPA filter in his room. He showers every night before he goes to bed to get rid of any pollen trapped in his hair. 

J and I suffer less dramatically, with the common sneezing, itchy watery eyes and itchy throat, and the others only get bad if we have a long run of a high pollen count.

I found out that I have chronic urticaria when I went for my first allergy clinic appointment after suffering from my allergic reaction to food.  I had never heard of it before, and just thought I had sensitive skin (which I suppose I do)  I tend to be worse in the summer, when I get hot, and under tight clothing, it is also triggered by some foods, sulphites, but most often I don't know what causes it.  Antihistamines really help, both creams and tablets.

For more information on urticaria go here urticaria

Click here for asthma

Allergy UK's homepage is here

I hope you have found my posts this week helpful in understanding allergies and reactions, and that you may have learnt some tips on helping somebody suffering from a reaction.

Lupin Girl x


  1. The allergies must be dreadful. I've never been affected, thank God, but I feel for you, your family and all the other people who suffer this way.

    1. +Francene Stanley, thank you, and I hope you and your loved ones continue to be allergy free x
      Lupin Girl x