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Hi - I'm new to this board. I've never met anyone else with my problem, my allergist doesn't know what to do, and I don't know who else to ask.

I'm 36 and started being congested a lot when I moved form Idaho to Minnesota when I was 19. I started getting "hayfever" (lots of sneezing and itchy eyes) when I was 22. It happened only when there were extreme air pressure changes.

When I was about 34 the "hayfever" started getting more frequent and more severe but was still connected to weeather changes. Then I started getting terrible eye-swellings, in both eyes but only in one at a time. If feels like there's something stuck in my eye. They got worse and worse, until now when it happens the affected eye swells completely shut. I can't even pry it open with my fingers. In fact, one whole side of my face swells to the point where people stare at me on the street and then avert their faces, and my friends avoid looking at my face at all. Even my cats know something is wrong and keep sniffing my eyes. (Yes, I had both skin and blood tests for cat allergies. None.)

My PCP ordered more blood tests (thyroid and stuff) than I can even count. Nothing. Claritin didn't help. Benadryl didn't help. Antihistamine drops didn't help. Allegra 180 helped for about 2 years, then stopped working. Then I went to an allergist in 07/02, and he tested me for all the respiratoty allergies you can skin test for. Nothing. He decided I had "vasomotor rhinitis."

This past fall it got even worse. (That's when the Allegra 180 stopped working.) I managed to see my PCP when I was having my worst attack to date, and his first comment was "oh-my-gosh." He made me go see an opthamologist, who muttered "interesting ... " several times, and sent me to the allergist. I showed him a picture I had taken during a less-severe attack, and he said "Ew!"

So, he tested me for all the food allergies you can do skin tests for. Nothing. Then he ordered so many blood tests I had to give 6 vials. Nothing. he had me get a CT scan, and we discovered my maxilary sinuses are more than half full with ... something. Yet I have no sinus pain, not much discharge, no congestion that Nasonex can't handle, and no discolored discharge at all.

I also have an elevated level of antibodies that he said are usually related to allergies, but only a slightly elevated level. That's pretty consistent with what I read about chronic fungal sinusits on sinuses.com, but it still doesn't explain the itchy, swelling eyes.

He gave me an antibiotic called Augmentin (which I forgot to take today like an idiot), and wanted me to start taking Rhinocort (which I can't afford, but Nasonex is working OK for now). He put my on Zyrtec, which is helping, but then Allegra helped at first too. Bascially he's stumped. He's wondering if he should refer to to an ENT. I'm not sure what good that would do. I'm not sure anymore what questions to ask or WHO to ask. ANY ADVICE???





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