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Developing New Allergies

Dr. Kagen,

I live in AZ and have terrible allergies in the spring and summer. It seems like over the years, I've gotten rid of some secondary allergy problems and gained new ones! Is this normal?

I used to get bad nasal drainage in my throat which would lead to 2-3 tonsillitis/strep throat infections a year. It has been years since that has happened, but now I get bad sinus infections, or serious nasal congestion that my doctor says is from allergies. If I take
prescribed medication, it over dries my sinuses and makes it worse!

Is this unusual to develop new allergy related problems while losing others over time?

Also, is it normal for nasal congestion/sinus pressure to make you feel
as if your equilibrium is off? Walking around and feeling like your
head is so full of pressure you are almost dizzy? I feel that way sometimes,
but no one else with allergies that I know of gets this way!

Thank you,
Michele M.

Dear Michele:

Thanks for asking about your changing allergy condition

It is true that if you have the genetic tendency to become allergic to
things, then over time, you may become allergic to new allergens.

Also, allergy symptoms in many patients seem to move from the skin early in life, next into the nose, then into the sinuses and then down into the lungs, especially if not adequately controlled.

Each patient responds differently to medications. You may be
particularly sensitive to the medicines prescribed for your condition. It may be a good idea to ask your doctor if you can take the same treatments, but at lower doses and less frequently.

The allergy sufferer often has a sense of disequilibrium due to both a
mild fluid build up within the middle ear and also due to the fact that
many allergy patients are sensitive to any changes whatsoever inside their body.

Good Luck to you. I hope this answer is useful to you.

Steve Kagen, M.D.