Am I allergic to something?

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 montyjohn 21 Aug 2022

UKC medical advice again. Honestly it's still a climbing forum. Sorry for the long post.

Actually I'm not after medical advice, just some brainstorming from anyone who may have had a similar experience.

I've been in the lower French Alps for about a week now. I'm staying in my in-laws house that he's been building for about 15 years and almost finished.

Day one I caught a cold which has turned pretty nasty. I've had all the normal symptoms like a runny nose, cough etc, but I've also been really wheezy and found breathing quite hard which is very unusual for me. Sounds like COVID, but I've got no fever, headache and otherwise feel fine.

I know, take a test and if not COVID go see a doctor right, but I only feel like that at night. Starts about 6 pm, there are no doctors around at that time, especially on a weekend and being a 2 hour drive from Nice waiting till the morning has been the plan. I'm probably an hour's drive from getting a test also, and I don't have my own car here.

Normally feel slightly better in the morning and generally feel well in myself so been forcing myself to at least spend some time with the kids outside and find by mid morning I feel almost completely fine. A little tired but almost no cold symptoms or wheezing.

So seems pointless going to a doctor when I feel almost normal again. Especially given how long it would take just to be fobbed off.

But, just as I think I'm over it, it's been repeating over and over. Gets worse at 6pm, miserably night, groggy in the morning and slowly gets better by mid morning.

So I'm now thinking I might be allergic to something in the house. But what could it possibly be? Compared to my house with messy kids and worn out parents this house is immaculate. No carpets, just tiles and wooden floors. No dust at all. No sign of building work. In fact no work has happened for over a month. And I don't normally suffer from allergies except when working with hay bales which there aren't any here.

Tempted to sleep in a tent tonight as an experiment. There is definitely an underlying cold as I seem to have given it to my father in law.

But since I swing from horrendous when in the house to almost normal during the day it's surely an allergy. I'm finding allergy tablets aren't helping however.

Just curious if anyone has had something similar.

 Jon Read 21 Aug 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

Could you not pick up a lateral flow test from the local pharmacy/supermarche to test for covid?

Are you out all day and it only starts at 6pm because you're back? Is that when the heating goes on?

 Andy Hardy 21 Aug 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

What's the sofa stuffed with? 

Ditto for the bed and duvet.

Do you get itchy / runny eyes?

OP montyjohn 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Jon Read:

Next time we need to do a shop I'll pick one up, but don't fancy going on a hours drive to a populated area. We are extremely isolated here and I don't think it matters of it's COVID or a cold. If it is COVID then it's the perfect place to have it. Although I'm doubtful because when I had Omicron earlier in the year I felt really Ill, fever etc and I have none of that.

Good thinking regarding the heating but the house doesn't have any. It stays 20 degrees day and night through insulation magic.

OP montyjohn 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> What's the sofa stuffed with? 

That's an amazing shout. I was here three years ago, no problems. The sofa wasn't. I haven't worked up the courage to go back in yet but will inspect when I do.

> Ditto for the bed and duvet 

Less convinced by this, it starts before I go to bed

> Do you get itchy / runny eyes?

Generally no, but this morning they felt a bit puffy for the first time. Chest and runny nose is the main symptom.

 henwardian 21 Aug 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

Definitely sounds like an allergy. The other thing you could try out would be getting a respirator mask from the local diy shop and wearing that overnight - if it makes a difference then it probably is a problem with something in the air in the house. In my experience, allergies like this do tend to get a lot less bad as time goes on but I don't know if that's universal or just my personal experience.

Or, y'know, it could just be the obvious allergy - to in-laws. I hear that's pretty common

 Jon Read 21 Aug 2022
In reply to montyjohn: I think your answer probably lies in what you or family do around 6pm onwards? As suggested, could be something in the soft furnishings (could be lots of things, but you're not allergic to pets by any chance?) or could be something to do with cooking perhaps? (oil, cleaning product remnants getting heated or something in the extractor fan if there is one).

 Sealwife 21 Aug 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

Do they have an animal?  Is there something unusual you are eating/drinking/touching in the evening?  Are there any plants/cut flowers or anything of that nature around?

It isn’t unheard of to become allergic to something you were OK with previously.  It’s mango in my case.

In reply to montyjohn:

I had something similar in the south of France about 30 years ago. Turned out that my allergy symptoms were caused by ozone. It was a warm summer and sunlight breaks down nitrogen oxides in vehicle exhaust fumes. The French newspapers were full of this explanation.

OP montyjohn 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Jon Read:

> could be something to do with cooking perhaps?

There's no kitchen yet so I can rule that out. My father in law's salad dressing however? God knows what's in that.

OP montyjohn 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Sealwife:

> Do they have an animal?

No animals or cut plants. Just the farther in law.

OP montyjohn 21 Aug 2022
In reply to henwardian:

> Or, y'know, it could just be the obvious allergy - to in-laws. I hear that's pretty common 

I find the symptoms for this tend to be sudden outbursts or irrational rage. But I guess maybe the symptoms have changed.

In reply to montyjohn:

Any perfumes or air fresheners?

 Jenny C 21 Aug 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

Yes get a Covid test.

Sounds similar to how I was when visiting mum's after she got a new pet rat. Utterly debilitating in the house and at night, but improved in the day when I was out and breathing clean air.

In reply to montyjohn:

That sounds to me very much like COVID.  I'm just coming out of it and while I did have a splitting headache on one day it mostly sounds like what you are describing.  If it's near gone a test is probably pointless, but the other people in the household may well benefit from a test.

Breathing difficulties and the likes can persist for a few weeks, just like some other viruses, or (less likely) as long COVID.  Indeed, and I'm not saying this will happen to you, persistent symptoms do occur from other viruses, it seems I got adult onset asthma as an after effect of a snotty virus of some sort, well before COVID had even sneaked out of a bat.

I have myself always found respiratory symptoms worse when lying down or in a stuffy room, whatever the type of virus involved.

I would to be honest ignore the official three symptoms, most people don't get them.  For me it was full on bedridden flu on Tuesday, but since then just a very, very mild cold with a bit of asthma accentuation, and now just boring waiting to test negative so I can go somewhere without risking giving it to someone.  For instance I have barely had a cough at all, and when I did it was productive, not dry.

Post edited at 12:47
In reply to montyjohn:

You could get a Corvid test to rule out a bird allergy. 

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