[quote=“taiwanbound”]Are many people affected by allergies here in Taiwan.
Last winter and this winter, both times I got what I thought was a common cold, felt like crap for 2-4 days. The cold part when away after the first week (headachy, lots of green yucky congestion, itchy throat, but no fever or swollen glands or anything like that) but then I was left with two symptoms that drag on and on and on…mainly lost of post-nasal drip which causes lots of coughing and then what feels like fluid in the middle ear (although the docs say my ears look clear and fine when they look in). Also on and off headaches but those are tied more to the constant coughing.
I can still function, but one feels like crap. I don’t smoke, no coffee. I’ve been to two doctors, both tried me on antibiotics but then when it doesn’t clear up they’ve started to say it is allergic tinnitis. When I look it up on the internet, the symptoms kind of match up, but then these kinds of symptoms match up for basically every sickness possible. I’ve never been one to suffer from allergies, this has only started since I came to Taiwan though and only after I get a cold. I live in the south and have lived in WAY more polluted places than here, so I am pretty sure it is not pollution.
Any fellow sufferers out there and any suggestions? I’m now taking antihistamines and nasal steriods, doc says it will take a month before we know if they work…[/quote]
Ok I had pretty much the same problem, red eyes, blocked nose and an especially severe post-nasal drip that wouldn’t go away. I also believe it was exacerbated/caused by a cold at the start. I also went to various doctors eventually getting it diagnosed as an allergy but not much worked. Post-nasal drip sounds like nothing until my throat swelled up and I could hardly swallow! I also never experienced such symptoms before but I had other symptoms that I have since realised are other types of allergy reactions (sneezing/itchy skin) before I came to Taiwan. I believe the presence of so many allergens in Taiwan can set off people who are prone to allergies…unfortunately then you are sensitised for life probably. My wife and I lived in a place that had been flooded/leaky walls and probably loads of fungal spores. Now we both sneeze way more than the average person even though before she hardly sneezed at all. We are sensitised. The theory is the IgG levels get permanently set to a higher level for some irritants aften an episode of sensitisation, it is not a disease of aging as many allergy suffers allergies lessen with age. There may indeed be a cumulative components as many people who mention it here didn’t get it for the first few years, alternatively it could be that living here longer means you eventually bump into a particularly bad dose of …something!
Taipei is very damp, the dampness seems to make things worse probably from spore/fungus growth. A lot of the old houses in Taipei are rotting away and full of spores. You need to move if you are in one of those places or else find a way to dry out the place completely before you move…anyway you will have to move to a newer place or drier place to help fix this.
Get the right brand of antihistamine. The ones I was prescribed previously before didn’t work. I eventually got this one recommended…works well anytime I feel sneezy/allergy coming on- Zyrtec from Glaxo. You can take one everyday, works pretty well to dampen down the symptoms.
Think about moving out of Taipei or into the mountains. The air quality is bad mixed with the damp. You are probably sensitised now and there may other pollutants/allergans setting you off…one idea is definitely to move somewhere drier with fresher air. Since I moved to Miaoli or Taichung and live in a new building I’ve not once suffered red eyes or post-nasal drip. Taichung’s air is not clean but it is dry.
Iron your clothes or put them in a closet with a bag that sucks up all the water . You may notice lots of clothes smell musty in Taiwan, these definitely contain allergans.
Change your pillows to anti-mite types and throw out old bedclothes especially feather duvets.
Don’t ride a scooter unless you have to.
Don’t drink coffee or alcohol or very cold drinks for a while, it makes things worse.
As for the steroids, I wouldn’t too hopeful on using that, it’s the overall air pollution in Taiwan and then mixed with fungal spores, people living in old houses and the dampness. Seemingly allergy rates among children in Taiwan is one of the highest in the world. There are lot of theories…the mould, cockroach droppings, human skin, pollen, vehicle exhaust…the list goes on! Use the antihistamines and reduce your exposure!