Mystery allergy revealed at last

My mystery allergy is revealed at last.
I spent a good portion of the afternoon today in the office of Dr. Karl Baumgart, an allergy specialist. He was great. Not only did he finally identify the stuff that’s making me feel crappy, but he also managed to explain a lot of random secondary symptoms I didn’t realize were related. After talking to me for a while, he brought out the skin prickers. Basically there were these four plastic things, each of which had six metal spikes on them (like cleats). He dipped them all in my suspected allergans and then stuck them into my forearms. Within minutes I started swelling up and itching intensely. It turns out that I’m severely allergic to dust mites, with minor allergies to three different kinds of Australian grass. He also told me that I have a touch of “allergic conjunctivitis”, which I was relieved to learn does not mean I have pink eye. (It means I have itchy, watery eyes and dark circles.) I don’t have a food allergy as such, but certain things (like the preservatives in wine) will irritate my sinuses and bring on a reaction. I have to use allergy pills and spray for four months, boil all my bedding, and get hypoallergenic mattress and pillow covers. Then I have to go back for a checkup. If I haven’t improved, I have to get a “scan” of my sinuses to see if I need surgery. Then we’d begin “desensitization” treatment, which (as I understand it) involves them injecting me with the stuff I’m allergic to. Yeah, I want to try to avoid that.

But at least I know what I’m up against now! Dust mites are my arch enemy.


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  1. good to hear you found someone who can help you. Rob has pretty bad dustmite allergies. Shame we are both pack rats…

  2. Think the dustmite one is quite common as I have that too.

    Have you had cats before? As when I got tested when I was young, it turned out I was allergic to cats (yeah ..yeah..I know its the saliva), tiny bit dogs and dustmite.

    Had to get rid of our two moggies *sniff* 🙁

    Hope nothing like that has to happen to you.

  3. on the cat allergy thing. The hubby was tested for that too and interestingly the doc told him that cats with longer hair cause allergic reaction than cats with short hair. go figure.

    I kinda like the idea of you having an ‘arch enemy’. Kris is now a super hero.

  4. I had a cat when I was very young but the rest of the time it was just dogs. I was pretty sure I didn’t have a cat allergy (as evidenced that I was fine when we spent 90 minutes in the cattery to get her). He did a check for it just in case and it came up negative. Amy is safe!

  5. If they’re not too personal, do you mind sharing those random secondary symptoms? I’m curious, as my (unprofessionally diagnosed) allergies might be caused by dust mites, too.

    I’m glad that you had a successful diagnosis.

  6. It’s mostly the stuff I already mentioned, Tricia, like dark circles under the eyes and sniffles while drinking red wine. I also tend to get frequent bloody noses, like every time I fly and often when I blow my nose a lot. He also pointed out that I actually have a little wrinkle line on the bridge of my nose from blowing it. Also (embarrassingly) he was listening to me breathe with a stethoscope and he was like, “Hmm, I can tell from this that you have a tendency towards heavy mouth-breathing.” The Snook’s still laughing about that.

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