Taylor’s experience with hayfever and much more

I “developed” allergies the first year I went to college. Before the change in environment, I never noticed allergies or they never impacted my quality of life. Upon moving to La Crosse, I noticed for the first time that I didn’t feel well in the late summer and early fall. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, by my mom quickly realized it was allergies as my dad had a long history of allergies.

The first year wasn’t too bad, but the subsequent years were really awful. My allergies seemed to get exponentially worse after the first year. During my junior year of college, I recall having difficulty sleeping and often times I would rub my eyes so much that my eye lids would be red and almost felt like I had rubbed to the point that they had sores.

At the time, no over-the-counter medications helped, neither did prescription antihistamines. By this time, I had realized that my allergies were what is typically called “hayfever” and was caused by ragweed—something had to change.

I went to Allergy Associates of La Crosse to get tested for allergies. As it turned out, ragweed wasn’t the only thing I was allergic to. I had many other inhalant allergies such as mold, cat, dog, grass, and trees. I later learned that mold spores often spike around the same time that ragweed pollen did, and the combination is probably what really pushed my body’s immune system over the edge.

I was placed on sublingual immunotherapy and as part of the treatment, I tried the preseasonal drops which consisted of taking an escalating dose of ragweed antigen before the ragweed season started. I tried the preseasonal drops for a few years and noticed an improvement in my symptoms. One year I didn’t take the preseasonal drops; I am not entirely sure why, maybe to test their effectiveness, but my symptoms were dramatically worse that ragweed season.

From these experiences, I would highly recommend people who are severely impacted by seasonal allergies to consider preseasonal treatment as part of their immunotherapy. It can really impact your quality of life during what would typically be your worst time of the year.

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