ZocdocAnswersAm I suffering from allergies?

Question

Am I suffering from allergies?

I'm a 38 year old white male from the Caribbean islands. Where i feel healthy. Why is it when i come to the states I feel like I'm suffocating? I have mucus drainage in my throat and it seems harder for me to wake up in the mornings. I do have the common affects like itchy eyes and sneezing but the other symptoms seem extreme.

Answer

What you are describing does sound like allergies. Drainage from your nose that seeps down into your throat, itchy eyes, and sneezing are all consistent with an allergic reaction. Most of the time these reactions are do to an allergen in the environment such as pollen (outside) or dust mites in your house. Another possible cause of your symptoms is a viral upper respiratory tract infection. This can cause nasal drainage, sneezing, and to a lesser extent itchy eyes, though it usually only lasts for a couple weeks at most. The question can be answered in a couple different ways. One, you can see an allergist to determine what you are allergic to (after you get a diagnosis). Second, you can see if your symptoms respond to an antihistamine medications. I suggest that you schedule an appointment first with your primary care physician. He or she can take a more detailed history of your symptoms including determining what type of allergic exposures you may have at home or at work. In addition, your doctor can perform a thorough physical exam to determine that there is no other possible conditions complicating your situation. Finally, your doctor can prescribe an antihistamine (if simple allergies are suspected) which should help you. Good luck.

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