My Sneezing, Runny Nose, and Peanut Allergy

Sneezing and runny nose have been part of my life as far as I can remember. The experiences had never been pleasant. Before the easy availability of tissue papers, I used handkerchief to cover the nose and take care of the discharge when in public. Unlike the disposable tissue paper, the handkerchief after prolong usage presented a hygiene problem. Most importantly, sneezing and runny nose prevented me from conducting a normal living routine as I no longer had my full control of my focus and concentration. So, it becomes a high priority to seek the cause and cure of my sneezing and runny nose. After years of analyses, documentations, and experimentations, my sneezing and runny nose can be characterized in the following paragraphs.


Pollens

Pollens in springtime are a major cause of my sneezing and runny nose, specifically during windy conditions. It is a well understood condition where an overactive autoimmune system treats the pollens as allergen and triggers the release of histamine that causes sneezing and runny nose. I usually found relief by taking anti-histamine pills. Before there is Claritin and Allegra , these pills made me drowsy. So, I avoided taking them whenever possible. Sometimes, the sneezing and runny nose were so intense that mucous membranes lining the nasal cavity were bruised and infected. Then, I had to visit my doctor to get a prescription steroid nasal spray (Beconase ) to counter the inflammation. The steroid spray was quite effective in getting rid of the infection when it was used in the early stage. Over the years, I find that by applying saline solution through the nasal passage every morning provide a cleaner and better remedy against my sneezing and runny nose caused by pollens.

As I get older, I find that working in the yard and mowing the lawn will also cause my sneezing and runny nose. In the course of time, I learn to wear face mask while doing the garden chores. Even though it is inconvenient, the reward of an unimpeded nasal passage afterwards makes it worthwhile.


Common cold

Common cold can also cause my sneezing and runny nose accompanying coughing occasionally. The episode normally occurs during the winter season. I could feel the urge to sneeze coming from within my body and taking anti-histamine pills was not always effective. Since my sneezing and runny nose usually lasted for 3 to 4 days, I elected to toughen it out. However, sometimes, I had to apply the steroid spray when nasal infection resulted.

Flu

In addition to body ache and high fever, flu also causes my sneezing and runny nose. Mucus in the throat and coughing are common symptoms too. I took Tylenol to reduce the fever and let the rest of the discomfort to take its course. After 3 to 4 days, all that remained was the coughing which might last 3 to 4 weeks. While I was working for a large company, I contracted flu average twice a year. After I retired 2 and half years ago, I had a minor flu symptom only once. My experience tells me that the yearly flu shot and washing hands frequently help, since the primary source of infection comes from contacts with the other people.


Peanuts

For many years I was bothered by my sneezing and runny nose that did not follow the feelings and symptoms as described in the above 3 conditions. The only consistency was that they often occurred (not always) after my vigorous exercise (heavy perspiration and cardio workout ) and they lasted only for the day. I started to check my conditions on the Internet. The only relevant information I gathered was that after a vigorous exercise the body immune system could be temporarily weaken. Thus, the body was susceptible to infection of all kinds. Then, I read how some people were allergic to peanuts. At the time, peanuts were one of my favorite snacks. I used to consume a whole jar (21 oz) in a few days. So, I decided to stop munching on the peanuts completely to see what would happen. To my great delight, the sneezing and runny nose after my vigorous exercise seldom showed up again. Nowadays, my snacks consist of mostly potatoes/ corn chips and a controlled quantity of cashews, pecans, and almonds.


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