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Allergies

Sudden onset of allergic symptoms

02/14/2007

Question:

I don`t have any known allergies to indoor environmental triggers such as house dust mites, mold, etc. Last night in the middle of the night I suddenly awoke sneezing and congested. I had no hint of a cold before going to bed. All day long today I have felt like I`m having a histamine reaction to something in the environment.

Do you think this is sudden onset of a cold or an allergic reaction? How common is suddenly developing an allergy? This has never happened to me before where I`ve awakened with sudden nasal symptoms that keep me awake. I`m 51 and I vaguely remember my mom coming down with a sudden cold two or three times a year when she was about my age. I am not a smoker and I have not yet gone through menopause.

Answer:

If this is an isolated event then it is most likely a cold or an irritant that triggered your symptoms. If it persists for weeks and months then you should be evaluated for chronic rhinitis by a qualified allergy specialist, preferably a board certified internal medicine trained allergist.

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Response by:

Jonathan   Bernstein, MD Jonathan Bernstein, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati