Non-allergic rhinitis & Asthma — how it contributes to breathlessness?
Gosh, I had a terribly running nose. In the grocery store and most places, my nose would run non-stop, just like out in the cold in the wintertime. That was in ‘04. An allergist told me I didn’t have allergies, but I had VMR — vasomotor rhinitis — A.K.A. non-allergic rhinitis. Told me to take Flonase, and that was that. It didn’t seem to help much, so I stopped taking it. It was only in ‘15, when I was really struggling with breathlessness that I dug out the old records to see in addition to VMR, they’d noted “suspect asthma”.
Now it’s been three years and ten specialists later. Allergists say no allergies. It’s asthma. Pulmonary says — after giving me Symbicort which was the first thing to help after Flovent and Singulair failed — it must be anxiety; or deconditioning or VCD (vocal cord dysfunction). I’ve been the gammit: cardiologists, gastenterologists, speech pathologists, neurologists (for a stroke/PE from not moving), hematologist (mother’s blood disorder with the same symptoms), ENTs, etc., etc.; you get the idea. Finally, while here at Mayo for a bone issue, I decided I had to get a pulmonary evaluation.
I do have asthma. But chronic rhinitis/sinusitis has had uncontorlled sinus draining filling my lungs. It’s no wonder my cardiologist had said, once, I had ‘wet’ lungs. I might have picked that up, when I saw that the antihistamines that E/R gave me, once, helped those times I oculdn’t even stand in place ironing, doing dishes or doing my hair, let alone try to move. Then, this past April, my local pulmonologist ‘heard me’ (?), and gave me Spiriva, while a second opinion allergist gave me Atrovent. Both are the same ‘drying agent’, ipratroprium. One for my lungs, one for my head. I could, finally stay out of the chair, vs. siting in it all day, but still couldn’t walk outdoors and/or live my life. The new concept of sinus rinses — NeilMed Nasal Wash Squeeze Bottle — became a new part of my daily life.
But I needed Mayo to say it wasn’t enough to only catch what was behind my eyes or out my nose. I had to pay attention, too, to what was going down my throat — post nasal drip…
Now, I’m encouraged. It’ll mean twice daily saline ‘washes’ — vs. only sprays — morning and night, whether I think I need them or not, followed by Flonase which, previously, did reduce very, very swollen ‘turbinates’ which threatened surgery. Turbinates are the three sets of filters in your nose and sinuses that warm, cleanse and moisten the air you breath before it goes into your lungs. After the Flonase, twice daily, too, it’ll be sprays of Atrovent for drying, too, twice daily, hoping to stop the post nasal drip down the back of my throat.
I’m hopeful — finally. Has anyone else had problems, such as this? On the Neil-Med literature it states there’s a definite correlation between rhinitis and asthma, while other than at Mayo, I havne’t found any physician willing to say that.
Then, again, I couldn’t find any hand surgeon to say my enchondroma (benign bone tumor) was a chondrosarcoma (malignant) which it was, either…