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Newly diagnosed Dust Allergy
An_242150 posted:
So, in the last two weeks I found out that I am allergic to dust and milk. I don't think the milk thing is the same as being lactose intolerant because it does not affect my tummy, it affects my nose and mucus glands etc.

The doctor wants to put me on 3 years of cortisone injections. As we will lose our insurance soon, that will mean we pay $900 for these next year.

The doctor said:
1) It is one of the safest injections and that pregnant women can take them.
- not that I am or will be pregnant, he just wanted to show how safe they are.
2) They treat the CAUSE by desensitizing the allergic person to the allergens.
3) After three years of these you are "cured" from you allergies.
4) I have already a polyp in my one nose that, if it grows, will have to be cut out. By "curing" me the polyp can be reversed. (Polyps in the nose do not get cancerous though).
5) I am what he likes to call "pre-asthmatic" and showed me 3 numbers on a breath test. I am in the 90th percentile for two and in the 67th percentile for one (the nasal passages where the chronic congestion is now). If I get to 60 in one (or all?) of them, I will have asthma.

This is all so scary that I just want to jump in and get the shot... BUT

1) My late asthmatic uncle did not die of his asthma but due to getting too many cortisone injections. This thinned out the wall of his blood veins/arteries (I know they're not the same but forget which is what now). By simply stretching up one burst in his neck due too too much thinning and he died on the spot.
2) The doctor seemed reluctant to talk about how to avoid dust in my house and he never even asked me to stop using diary. He just went to the injections and that was the end of that. When I did ask him about it, he seemed not to want to talk about it much.
3) His practice is almost run like a big clinic. It is friendly and personal and caring but it seems a bit like a factory. Each person just doing one small thing and passing the patient along. I'm not sure if they have stopped treating individuals and started following procedure.
4) The test for diary showed up immediately. The test for dust didn't. They injected more stuff into me and THEN it showed up. The nurse said: "I think I'll have to check a bit deeper" then gave me injections. So, I wonder if that means that dust allergy is less severe than the dairy one.

I am in a position where I know nothing about allergies and their consequences. He never explained how severe it is. He never discussed alternatives to the injection. I have a ton of unanswered questions.


I'm scared to get the injections and scared not to.
Aqua14 responded:
I think you should get a second opinion from a board-certified allergist. You don't say that this doctor is a board-certified allergist or how old he is, but frequent injections of steroids (cortisone is a steroid) is not the normal treatment for these types of allergies. You already know the long-term effects that your uncle suffered from long-term use of steroids, which you'd want to avoid if possible.

Now I suppose you may have misunderstood and the doctor was really referring to allergen immunotherapy ("allergy shots"), but that would not be used for dairy as there is currently no immunotherapy used for food allergies.

And it is not the dust itself but rather some of the components of dust (like pollen, mold, dust mites) that people are allergic to.

So I think you are right to question some of what this doctor is doing and telling you, and you'll feel better if you get a second opinion from an allergist. You can find a board certified allergist in your area by using the search widget at at the top of the screen ("Find an Allergist/Immunologist").

Hope this helps. Take care & good luck. Judy
It's never too late to be what you might have been. ~ George Eliot. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Anon_28945 responded:
I suspect that you would find relief from a prescription nose spray such as Flonase or Nasonex or something similar. They are steroidal but are topical. I use one every day to help keep my polyps in line. My daughter got relief from her cat allergies within a week of starting the medication. It is available in a generic form and, if used as prescribed, one bottle should last the better part of two months. I would do this before starting monthly cortisone injections - way fewer side effects in the long run!
buzzy300 responded:
See a board certified allergist. I never heard of taking 3 years of cortisone just for a runny nose or even asthma. A allergist can treat you with desensitization shots, nasal inhalers with antihistamines and cortisone, as well as a long-acting asthema inhaler. I have had good results with Foradil for asthema.

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