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  • Deciphering spring allergies from worsening PF symptoms

    Posted by Charlene Marshall on March 31, 2023 at 6:15 pm

    I love the spring season! After a long, dark, and cold winter here in Canada, nothing lifts my spirit quite like warmer days and sunshine. As much as I enjoy this time of year, I also feel a bit of anxiety about whether my disease is worsening because my symptoms of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) tend to be more intense as the seasons change.

    I find between March-May I am often more breathless, have enough of a tickle in my throat to cough a little more, and find myself congested as well. These symptoms can be a myriad of things, including virus or bacterial infections, disease progression, or just spring allergies. For me, it’s hard to decipher which of these is the culprit of my increased symptoms this time of year, which causes me to feel a little anxious.

    Do any other forum members suffer from spring allergies? 

    If so, how do you decipher if your symptoms are caused by allergies, infections, or disease progression?

    I’d love to hear your thoughts.


    Deleted User replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago 6 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • jason-lusk

    April 5, 2023 at 8:32 am

    I’m glad I’m not the only one wondering this. Honestly it scares me. I just left doc earlier today and he said the CT looks the same so I guess that’s a good thing. So hopefully it’s just the weather and pollen

  • conni

    April 5, 2023 at 8:35 am

    love the gladiolus,crocus,forsthyia ,cherry blossoms,but oh my the allergies make my breathing so much worse. am on pred now 30 mg.day with exasperation trying to still do rehab but the allergies dont help a bit. i do claritin pill,azelestine 1% nasal spray and still have trouble,BUT soon it will be to hot and another set of troubles!!

    conni b

  • douglas-nelson

    April 5, 2023 at 8:36 am

    My pulmonologist gives me prescriptions for allergies and asthma which I take along with Ofev. Sometimes it seems to help and on windy days not so much. Claritin can be taken daily, at least in my experience.

  • paula-gee

    April 5, 2023 at 11:40 am

    I have recently started one generic anahistamine morning and night and my seasonal allergies are better under control. I still have some sinus drainage but don’t feel the energy drain like before. I am on daily dose of 10 mg of prednisone. In the fall I have found that upping that to 20 mg during the allergy season really helped. I live in Kansas City so have all the trees, grass, flower pollen issues. Good Luck everyone. Know how challenging it is.

  • rose-miller

    April 6, 2023 at 12:31 pm

    I have the same issues.  It seems like IPF has all the baseline symptoms for many health issues.  My allergies and sinuses are terrible these past few months, and I wasn’t so sure why, but after seeing your posts, I feel that allergies may make things worse.  My doctor suggested Coricidin for High BP which I have, it’s OTC and seems to be helping.  I also use Saline Nasal spray and Triple antibiotic cream for my nasal passages which was recomended by my ENT.  I use it twice a day applied with a Q-tip for dried up nose while on O2 and I don’t get the terrible scabbing inside like I used to. I was using AYR saline gel, but since it’s water based it didn’t last long.  The Anti-B cream has no petroleum jelly in it.  I get terrible nasal drip mostly at night and a lot of coughing in the morning. A cup of hot ginger/lemon tea with honey with a lemon slice really helps for cough and gets the phlegm up.  Hope this helps a little.  Thank you for posting the question.


  • mike-clifford

    April 6, 2023 at 3:12 pm

    Great topic and very timely for me personally. I actually went to see my general practitioner (GP) after what seemed like sudden changes in my SOB. They really didn’t come up with anything but did give me an inhaler with steroids and it seemed to help. Interestingly a chest AP and Lateral XRAY was taken and the radiologist mentioned ground glass opacities and other terms we all often see and hear with this disease process. He also mentioned there were an increasing number of infiltrates and they appeared to be pneumonia versus edema. My take after reading the X-ray report was that my IPF is worsening, somewhat gradually but heading the way it does for all of us. Several days after my appointment I got a call from my GP saying an antibiotic was ordered to be taken for 5 days for the pneumonia.  I’m in my third day today with little or no change. I have a PFT tomorrow that I’m expecting to have difficulty with and then I see my Pulmonologist a week later. I’m anxious to see how this all plays out. The unfortunate part is that it’s going to take a couple of weeks to perhaps come up with something more definitive or worse there may not be anything more definitive. Good luck to all on this journey.

  • gina-myhill-jones

    April 6, 2023 at 4:21 pm

    Hi ! Happy Spring !
    Well, sort of LOL!
    I have had Spring Allergies for many many years, and the itchy eyes, dripping nose and sinus headaches are old ( pre IPF) friends.
    I have found some pretty effective strategies for dealing with Spring demons… antihistamines, steam inhalation, eye drops and taking it easy if it gets bad. Trying Flonase this year, so far so good ! These things just continue to help, as they have in the past.
    I know IPF makes it all seem worse, but really separating and treating just the allergies ( conifer and Cottonwood pollen mostly) gets me back to IPF normal and outdoors enjoying the glorious Springtime !

  • joy-lenters

    April 28, 2023 at 5:17 pm

    Hi, Charlene —

    Ever since I moved inland and no more salt water to tamper down allergens, I have been absolutely miserable with pollen and allergic reactions throughout each season.  The pollen count hit the highest at the beginning of April, and within a week, I called my Primary Care Physician, asking for a Z Pak antibiotic because the post-nasal drainage, coughing, and exhaustion were very bad.  The Z pak plus nasal rinses daily plus Zyrtec plus Singulair (Rx needed) plus Flonase brought me back to a sane existence.  Sometimes, I take Zyrtec and Singulair twice a day if I start to drag by 3 pm.

    It scares me too.  I keep telling myself to wait for a good rainy day to dampen the pollen, so I can see if I feel better and thus confirm that it is allergies and not my IPF worsening.  It’s hard not to work from fear.


  • bobbie-hovey

    May 2, 2023 at 5:33 pm

    Allergies are no fun, I have terrible post nasal drip. Take Allegra and Citirizine Hydrochloride, one in the morning and one before bed.  Tomorrow I’m having the scratch allergy tests and dr. said I may need shots.  Does anyone here get the allergy shots and do they really help. I have spring and fall allergies.  Thank you to all for your thoughts.

  • christine-mccann

    May 9, 2023 at 3:13 pm

    Yes I do but, I have always contributed it to allergies, although I have never been diagnosed with allergies. I guess I expect my IPF to progress so I don’t worry about it, nothing much you can do anyway except take your meds.

  • Deleted User

    Deleted User
    May 12, 2023 at 9:12 pm

    My husband is the one diagnosed with IPF but I am the Carer his wife…since I met him 45 years ago i have known that he has sinus allergies. But now with the IPF it is even worse. I got him to take Flonase nose spray and it helped a bit. Will it help him to take any antihistamin like Celestamine?

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