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Tis The Season

And I don’t mean the Christmas holidays. I bet that’s what you thought when you read the title. What I really mean is allergy season!

Immunotherapy gave me allergies

My entire life, I have never had trouble with allergies, but since starting Opdivo immunotherapy, this has totally changed. I can’t say as a medical perspective that Opdivo causes my issues, but it has gotten much worse each year since I’ve started immunotherapy three years ago.

Runny nose, itchy eyes, rashes, wheezing. The list goes on and on. When I first made the switch to Opdivo from traditional chemotherapy, my allergies started. I take a Claritin every morning to help eliminate the symptoms. For example, I just went and sat on the front porch. The humidity is not high and neither is the temperature however several neighbors were cutting their grass. The minute I went outside, I started sneezing and the runny nose started.

Opdivo does give me a rash on the palm of my hands year round but during spring for the past few years, this has gotten worse. If I am in the sunshine too long, whatever skin is exposed, has a rash for a day or two.

Spring brings on a whole new wave of allergies

According to RxList, many of my symptoms are listed, but not all of them are everyday. The palm rash, fatigue, and itching are a common everyday occurrence for me. Spring brings another round of symptoms. As I mentioned earlier, I do take a Claritin every day and if you asked me does it help, I would answer no but I also have not had a Spring since starting Opdivo to see if it truly gets worse without the Claritin.

I keep Benadryl spray handy. It works fantastic for the itching without making me sleepy as taking the Benadryl pill does. I do have the pills and use those on the worst days but then I end up sleeping the day away. Benadryl also makes a stick you can roll on to take away the itching. The spray and the stick do not work as well on hot days when the pollen is at it’s worst, but it certainly helps. The number one product that gives me relief is Benadryl pills but again, I don’t like taking those as they make me sleepy.

Aveeno lotion works well too. Any type of irritation from the elements, Aveeno helps. On days that my rash is bad, I also take oatmeal baths. It helps subside the itching and the rash itself. I am willing to try anything at this time of the year and I share what works and what doesn’t.

How do you manage spring time allergies?

What are your side effects that are intensified by the Spring pollen and allergy season? What do you do to help it? I am always interested in what other people do to control their symptoms – what works for one person, doesn’t always work for another, but I am willing to try if you have any products that help.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.