I have been very congested since living in San Francisco. I recently became determined to find out why. I started eliminating foods, I cleaned my house, bought a HEPA air filter and recently a dehumidifier.
Now I remember in the past when I vacuumed the carpet I would sneeze and get more congested.
I got tested for allergies today. They tested me for 43 compounds which include mold, pollens, dogs, cats and dust mites.
Here is what they skin tested me for:
1. Golden Acacia (2-5): 0
2. Alder, Red (12-3): 0
3. Ash, Red/Green (3-5): 0
4. Birch (mix) (3-5): 0
5. Bottlebrush : 0
6. Box Elder Maple (3-5): 0
7. Cedar, Mountain (1-5): 0
8. Cottonwood, Com. (3-4): 0
9. Cypress, Arizona (1-5): 0
10. Elm, American (8-10): 0
11. Eucalyptus: 0
12. Gum, Sweet (3-4): 0
13. Olive Tree (4-7): 0
14. Pepper Tree Species (7-9): 0
15. Mesquite (5-6): 0
16. Mulberry, Mix (3-5): 0
17. Oak, Mix (red,Virg, Live/White) (3-6): 0
18. Sycamore, American (2-4): 0
19. Walnut, Black (4-5): 0
20. Walnut, English (3-5): 0
21. Willow, Black (2-5): 0
22. Bermuda (3-10): 0
23. Johnson Grass (5-9): 0
24. Perennial Rye (4-8): 0
25. Careless Pigweed (5-9): 0
26. Cocklebur (7-10): 0
27. Dock/Sorrel, Mix (4-7): 0
28. Lamb’s Quarter (5-10): 0
29. Mugwort Sage (7-10): 0
30. Nettles (4-8): 0
31. English Plantain (4-7): 0
32. Ragweed, Mix (Giant,Short,West) (8-10): 0
33. Wing Scale (5-10): 0
34. Alternaria Tenuis (HS1:10): 0
35. Aspergillus fumigalus (HS): 0
36. Helminthosporium inters (HS): 0
37. Hormodendrum cladospo (HS): 0
38. Penicillium notatum (HS): 0
39. Cat, Standardized AP: 0
40. American/ German Cockroach mix: 0
41. (HS) AP Dog 1:100 std.: 0
42. Dust Mites, DF 30,000: 4+ (12/31)
43. Dust Mites, DP 30,000: 4+ (11/20)
The zero on the end meant that I was negative. The last two were the positive ones. Dust mites.
I threw out my carpet about a month ago, but there is carpet I can’t throw out which is in the hallways. It’s old and dirty enough and probably filled with dust mites.
I washed the curtains too.
I think the humidity is a problem. Drier places and high elevation places are supposed to be better. I don’t remember having a problem in the Southwest.
There is also mold and apparently dust mites like humidity.
So I am trying to use some dessicants like
- silica gel
- cat litter (bentonite clay)
I placed these in open containers/tea bags around my room in drawers and in my closet.
Then a few weeks ago I got a small dehumidifier which takes about 16 oz. every 3 days or so out of my small 7×8 room.
This is what the allergy doctors at UCSF suggested to do:
- Use zippered dust mite proof covers for pillows and mattress and box-spring
- Remove feather pillows and down comforters from bed
- Washing sheets/bedding weekly in hot water (140 F) to kill dust mites
- Steam clean or remove wall-to-wall bedroom carpeting
- Remove area rugs
- Dust mites die when the humidity falls below 40 to 50 percent. If you don’t have dry skin or eczema, consider using a dehumidifier if the weather is humid.
+Sinus rinses and a nasal spray (steroid)
If you are congested then you can’t breath well. If you can’t breath well then you’ll start breathing through your mouth which is no good and probably the reason why I got 3 cavities (so they said) in spite of eating well, brushing and flossing.
So I have been trying to be more mindful of keeping my mouth closed when sleeping and have even tried taping it closed when I sleep which is tough.
The other problem is a deviated septum which also helps block my nose. I had one surgery in 2006 on it. The ENT doctor gave me a couple of options to consider and showed me with a camera the scar tissue that grew inside after that surgery.
Which makes sense as I didn’t really notice any improvement from that surgery.
Working on getting that fixed too.