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COPD and Allergies

COPD and Allergies

COPD presents its very own set of difficulties for each of us in our daily lives. They range from tightness in the chest, trouble breathing, coughing, and I am sure a host of other symptoms. These are just things we have all come to expect each day.

Allergies

Allergies and or allergy season can cause our symptoms to increase exponentially. I have learned that I have many allergies I never knew I had thanks to bloodwork requested by my new pulmonologist. My wife and I were honestly surprised at just how much I was allergic too, especially basically all trees!

What that means for me is constant sinus drainage that leads to a slightly irritating cough. My rescue albuterol inhaler is typically enough to squash the cough at least for a little while. My BREO inhaler that’s used once daily helps somewhat but not for my random coughing fits that results from the allergies.

More Medications

I occasionally have to use Benadryl or Claritin D to help quell the symptoms. They work okay but are expensive to have to use on a regular basis, at least the Clartin D. I suppose that is the trade off though considering I can’t exactly change my allergies. Even trying to limit my exposure to the things I am allergic to is difficult. I have to go to work and to the grocery store when my wife needs the help, so I have to go outside.

Calming Aid

I have learned recently to try and calm myself when I begin to have fits with my allergies. It doesn’t always work, but it does always help some. When the coughing fits start, it makes me cough pretty hard. The harder I cough, the more my body seems to want to continue coughing. If I try to calm down when it starts however, I usually don’t cough as hard or as frequent. It is a small victory I suppose, but these days I consider any win to be a positive thing. There are so few of those wins in the world of COPD that I believe we should all cherish each one.

Other Changes

My doctor has given me information that moving forward may help me with some of the daily struggles. Mostly they are simple lifestyle changes to do with diet and exercise. Some of them will be easier to achieve than others, but they all seem like they would at the very least be worth trying.

I have a very short list of things that I am just not willing to change regardless of the outcome. My doctor laughs at me for them but understands. One of them was that I am never going to give up my dog. I have been a dog lover my entire life and that is not likely to change. When my dog passes away, after some time, I will most likely get another dog. It is just who I am. I told my doctor that if that means having to continue to take Benadryl then so be it. It is much the same with my primary care doctor that wants me to stop drinking coffee because of my blood pressure, which my lung doctor agrees. Unfortunately though, that is not likely to happen either. I have explained to them both that I would understand if it was something I did in excess, but it isn’t. When I drink coffee, it is exactly one cup per day at four am and honestly, I don’t drink coffee everyday.

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

Comments

  • sue1941
    10 months ago

    Hi, Steven . . . Allergy testing showed that I’m allergic to cats. We have a dog, too. I told my allergy/asthma doc that no way would I give up our cat. He just laughed and said he wouldn’t have suggested it – that he has learned over the years that if he tells patients to give up pets, they give HIM up instead and keep the pets! : – )

  • Steven Workman author
    10 months ago

    Sue1941 we had a similar conversation with my doctor. I just laughed and told him Benadryl is cheap. In my case I am actually more allergic to dust than I am to the dogs. It is definitely tricky though, trying to manage your allergies in a way that minimizes their effects on COPD. Thank you for sharing your experience.
    Steven Workman

  • lovinggrandma
    10 months ago

    Hey, you got that right. It really gets old blowing your nose, then regenerating the nasal thingy, then have to blow your nose again. On those days, there’s just nooo trying to cook!!

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    10 months ago

    Hi again, lovinggrandma and thanks for your comment. We appreciate your input here. Warmly, Leon (site moderator)

  • jcgivan
    11 months ago

    What really sucks is that constant runny nose when you’re on oxygen 24/7

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    11 months ago

    Hi jcgivan and thanks for your post. In addition to Steven Workman’s comment (below), I thought you might find it helpful to look over this article on COPD and runny noses: https://copd.net/living/stuffy-noses/. You are certainly NOT alone as others in our community have expressed similar concerns with their noses.
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Steven Workman author
    11 months ago

    Jcgivan, I have had very little experience being on oxygen and never for longer than a few hours at a time, but I can certainly imagine how frustrating it could be to live with it everyday. Has your doctor mentioned any possible ways to help with the runny nose or is it just something that will always be there? Thank you for sharing your experience.
    Steven Workman

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