Contributors to this thread:
Allergies during elk/mule deer season
I was born with bad allergies. Having hunted somewhere in the West for the last 15 years I have had some good years and some bad years. The best are usually hunting timber for elk in late September. It seems like the freshest air I've ever breathed and there was hardly an allergen of any kind. The worst was the time that I hunted the early (August 10) bow season for mule deer in Nevada. My allergies made me feel like I was going to die. There was a lot of sage around and it had little flowers. Apparently sage allergies are very common in the western states from June through November.
Are there any other common allergens (besides sage) to be aware of in the western states? I'm getting allergy shots and want to try to get the most common western allergens in the shots. Thanks!
Well, you're not alone. My allergies and asthma really kick in ... right in September in the mountains. Unfortunately, asthma ... wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing ... is my main reaction, along with runny nose. Good luck finding immunotherapy that is specific to "western allergens". There are many, many allergens at that time of the year, and sage as well as the conifers and grasses have so many varieties. Speak with your allergist, but I doubt there is a lot of effective prevention for you.
The immunotherapy that I've been taking here in Virginia has been so effective that I'm hoping to expand it to the western allergens. Unfortunately, my doc doesn't know what the western allergens are so I'm hoping to get suggestions so that I can get tested. There is no doubt that sage is one. This way I can get relief in all of my travels.
I have terrible fall allergies. All of deertick's symptoms and more. Sage, plus several flowering mountain plants get me pretty bad. Generic OTC Claritin (loratadin) works pretty well for me.
Mine are terrible and if it wasn’t for the hunting I would not be out during archery season. Haven’t found anything that works very well. All my hero shots have me with puffy red eyes and a red raw nose. But it is worth it to get out with the elk. Maybe I should talk to a doc about it sometime. Sage, spruce, grasses, and who knows what else.
I’m allergic to everything but dogs and know for certain that shrubs are the fall bloomers. Sage and Rabbit Brush (the shrub with the yellow flowers) are the worst offenders while Bitterbrush can also cause problems. Rabbit Brush rips me up! Anyway all begin in late summer and will continue to bother me until the first hard freeze and some rain.
See link for comprehensive list.
I've never had any allergy problems my whole life EXCEPT out west. I have no idea what it is I'm allergic to but my nose will plug up, eyes get puffy. Pretty miserable but bearable.
I never have issues down in the lower antelope country, only above 8000 ft. or so. This past season I was at or above that elevation for my entire hunt in 2 different states for over 2 weeks but had zero problems. No idea why.
+1 on the rabbit brush.
If I remember from botany, giant sage tends to release pollen at night, which causes hunters to wake up stuffy, wheezing and feeling hung-over. And it travels for miles so being "away" from it isn't necessarily a solution. I get allergic reactions above timberline.
Allergy shots is the way to go, I have al the above and then some, just about anything that grows I am allergic to including nuts, tree nuts and several vegetables.
the Allergy shots have helped me tremendously, but you have to get on a regular treatment plan. I get a shot every week and take Allegra twice a day. This has cut my sinus infections down to almost zero, where I used to get them 2-3 times per year. I also use my inhaler about 1/3 of what I used to. It is well worth it, and most insurances cover it. PM me if you want more details, and I can get you the name of the allergy center I use here in AZ.
I used to get terrible allergies as well (think, half a box of Kleenex a day in the warm months) but taking Reactine or a no-name cetrizine hydrochloride 10mg tablet a day knocked out my weepy eyes and taking Avamys nasal spray took care of my runny nose.
Flonase/fluticasone nasal spray also really helps me, but it's something you have to get on a few weeks before the allergens hit.
I feel for you guys. Mine are very mild and my PA brother told me to take a Claritin (I use the Equate equivalent) each day of allergy season. Kept me from trying to drown myself with my nose. I know this won't work for those with bad allergies but those with lesser ones might benefit.
The times I’ve been there it was horrible. I too used to take shots weekly. But, I stopped and went to Allegra. I now just live with it most days and don’t take the stuff often. Last allergy test I took consisted of 214 known irritants. I was severely allergic to 210 of those. From foods to everything in the eastern woods. It’ really sucks. Out west they get real bad. I just take pills and sleep horribly.
Green rabbit brush, which resembles sagebrush, is another one to avoid. I grew up in NY State and was always allergic to ragweed and goldenrod. Late summer and fall until the first hard freeze was my nemesis every year through High School, until I moved west to Montana (one main reason I moved west). I was not allergic to anything out west until about my 25th year there when I started getting sensitive to rabbit brush up the Deschutes River valley in Oregon. I started having the same kind of reactions as I did to ragweed. There was sage in there too but I don't think I'm allergic to that. Just that durn rabbit brush. Then, in 2006 I moved back to NY State. I have not been allergic to ANYTHING except poison ivy since I moved back here. No ragweed or goldenrod allergies at all. I can walk right through it all summer and fall with not so much as the sniffles. But I went to CA last month, and got a helluva reaction by just barely touching some poison oak plants I get that WAY worse than just plain old poison ivy here in NY. Poison oak in the west coast states is all I am severely allergic to now. Good luck with finding cures for yours.
Thanks folks. There is a lot of good information here. I've been happy with the shots (immunotherapy) that I've been getting. But, I'm also disappointed with my allergy doctor because I wish I had been tested for sage, rabbitbrush, bitterbrush, tumbleweed, etc a few years ago. My shots have mostly fixed all of my eastern allergies and now I'd like to fix the western allergies. It can all be combined into the same shot so there's not too much extra effort on my part.
I have to take Claritin every day in the elk mountains. Another thing to try for you allergies is Astalin Nasal spray (Azelastine is the generic name). It's amazing. It's not a nasal steroid like Flonase, Nasocort, and Nasonex, which work good, but as Lou says, take 1-2 weeks to get to full effect. Astalin is my go-to in elk country when my allergies get bad. I also use Patanol or Pataday eye drops for when my eyes get affected. They're expensive, but amazing for getting that annoying itch and swelling out of your eyes that comes with allergies.
The combination of Claritin and Astelin together works best and squashes the worst of my allergies.
i've been taking Claritin or Allegra daily for years. It helps greatly. However this winter I had an exacerbation and added a OTC nasal spray of Flonase/fluticasone or Rhinocort and that stopped by flare up. It takes a few days to start working and read the directions about how to use it.....
Idyll: is there a medical reason why allergy shots (immunotherapy) isn't recommended.
I've had good results, meaning that I only take Claritin or Zyrtec for 1/2 of the year. I might take Flonase for 10 days in a year. My daughter has had even better results, meaning that she rarely takes any medication and hasn't had a sinus infection in two years. Previously her sinus infections were almost every month. What is more amazing is that now she can play with cats and dogs and never could before the shots.
Idyll, I'd like your opinion on this - my former ENT Doc, and old timer with a great reputation, told me allergies can change in the human body in seven year cycles as our cells slough-off and regenerate. He said that's why some people "outgrow" certain allergies and others develop allergies at a later age and don't realize they have them.
An allergy test revealed what I was having reactions to, and now do shots and later in the year, as certain things die off, I can take daily prescription drugs. The weekly allergy shots were a killer, and my ex wife loved giving them to me. What drives me crazy in New Mexico has no effects on me in Colorado, but Arizona is the worst state I've ever been in!!!
Lou, if you're only "sloughing" cells every 7 years, that might explain a lot. Try more sloughing. It doesn't help my allergies, but I do feel better.
Developed severe allergies during mid 1980's. Allergy testing showed allergies to almost everything including sage and oak brush. Started allergy shots for 13 years, with Claritin and Flonase helped. Finally got to go first elk hunt in Colorado in 2003 .
Allergy shots can be great if you are able to find out exactly what it is that's bothering you through testing. If it's just Kentucky Blue Grass and you live in Kentucky, they can help you a lot. The shots fail in some people that are allergic to many many things and travel, as can be the case in the elk mountains. Blooming sage kicks my butt and I've considered getting shots for it, but I'm allergic to so many pollens, it's ridiculous.
Lou, I don't know if that's ever been proven that allergies change in 7 year cycles... some Drs make shit up because they learn to trust their intuition too much. It's possible, but I've never seen any evidence that that's the case. I certainly don't know it all though. That said, allergies are absolutely developed and lost throughout the life. And they can redevelop.
Go to your pcp and get a shot of kenalog before your trip.
X2 on the Kenalog. I actually got a shot of it yesterday. Nasal wash can also be very helpful.
Any of the OTC non-sedating antihistamines (Zyrtec, Allegra or Claritin) PLUS nasal steroid such as Flonase PLUS Singulair which is a leukotriene inhibitor will effectively control most allergies anywhere regardless of the prevalent allergens. Zaditor eye drops are also very helpful and much less expensive than some of the prescription eye drops. Azelastine nasal spray also helpful and works through different mechanism than steroid nasal sprays. Kenalog works well short term but cannot rely on it for maintenance therapy due to side effects. Immunotherapy is generally very effective for those that have failed all other options but can be difficult to cover all allergens across diverse geographic areas.
Huh. Thought I was the only one. I use the same stuff as Jaquomo. Claritin. Except I get the chronic D version you have to sign for.
Flonase is over the counter now, as well. I also have to have an albuterol inhaler with me. There was a big fire not far from where I was hunting, and the smoke really got the best of me. I was wheezing the whole season.
Once I get fluid or anything in my lungs it takes weeks, sometimes a month or more to get over it. I wish there was something I could do about that.
Anybody have good luck using OTC Nasalcrom nasal spray?
Flonase for me as well and then I use ketotifen fumarate (WalMart branded) for my eyes. I’ve got bad spring and fall allergies as well.
I’ve also found that the healthier I eat, the better my allergies are.
Was thinking maybe some on here with medical experience could address the health side of it - is there a correlation between poor eating habits - like fried foods, junk food and sugary drinks, soda, etc... making allergy symptoms worse. That seems to be my experience but I don’t have any scientific studies to back it - just my experience. Since I’ve been eating healthier for the past couple of years my allergy symptoms are so much better - or might it be that the past 2 years have just been better allergy years - too many variables for me to make a definitive statement.
Funny this was posted I had balloon sinuplast procedure yesterday at my ent in Miami.I've been battling sinusitis since Nov. it was kicking my butt.Antibiotics were not working so I opted for this and I can definitely say its not for the squeamish e they.This a.m.I had much less puffiness under my eyes so that is encouraging.We shall see.This procedure is where they go up thru your nose and insert a balloon into the sinus cavities inflate the balloon then irrigate the cavity and flush out pus and mucus.You are wide awake during the procedure.We shall see.Lewis
I have hayfever combined with allergic to Rag weeds. My allergies are in full force in the Midwest when I leave for elk camp. The sage affects me a little bit but nothing like harvest time in the Midwest. Once I get out west it tapers off nicely.
Does anybody use 2 different nasal sprays like a steroid and an inhibitor?
KSMike mentioned Singulair. This works differently than antihistamines and steroids. It's well worth trying.
I use to get wheezing and shortness of breath with my allergies and had to use inhalers. I've been on Singulair for several years now and it has totally eliminated the wheezing/ asthma type symptoms for me. I haven't used an inhaler since I started the Singulair. I still get itchy eyes, sneezing and runny nose and take zyrtec to reduce those symptoms.
Singulair doesn't work for everyone. It doesn't seem to help my wife much. But for me it's a miracle drug.
Singulair gives a lot of people headaches.
Full Curl, I use Azelastine and Nasonex in combination with Claritin and it completely squashes my allergies. But I've still had issues with my eyes and this past season liked the combination of Azelastine, Claritin, and Pataday (eye med). I forgot to bring the Nasonex. I still did just fine and I can get pretty bad in the elk mountains.
im with jaq the generic versions of claritin work for me wallgreens brand seems to be best for me.
X3 on Kenalog. It only works for a short amount of time but my allergy to sagebrush is only in late August - September. The steroid shot has been a gift!
Ha! I’m a wreck! I’m allergic to 20 something trees and grins common to the southwest including Juniper and Pine! One of the worst I’ve encountered was Ragweed! Bad mojo! I once plopped down a ground blind over water right in a patch before I knew what to look for.
Gamble Oak ( Scrub Oak) can be a problem. Fortunately it peaks in the spring. Local honey & propolis helps.
Just a heads-up on the nasal steroids like Nasacort/Flonase....
There definitely seems to be a risk of cataracts with heavy use. There are some contradictory study results out there, to be sure. But in my own personal experience over the past 20 years, I have seen way too many cataracts in young patients (40's and 50's) with nasal steroid use as their only risk factor for there to be a coincidence.
On a personal note, I've got terrible fall allergies during elk season, but there's no way I'd use a nasal steroid.....
jsgold: Thank you for providing a warning.