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Hi-
I am one of those people who got a sudden and severe reaction to alcohol at age 27.
I am a Caucasian female, and always drank casually since I was 21. Never had any kind of allergy problem in my life.

I have been feeling itchy/stuffy this Fall season, and I've read you can develop allergies later in your life.
Two weeks ago at my own birthday dinner, I had 1 glass of wine and some oysters. I started sneezing uncontrollably within 10 mins. Dripping nose, itchy eyes, and 18 tissues later, I could hardly speak I was so congested. I love oysters, but thought maybe I developed an allergy to them.

Two days later, still feeling stuffy, I met my friend for a warm whiskey drink. SAME reaction. No food involved this time.

Three days after that, I met my friend for a beer. Halfway through the beer I was sneezing so bad I had to leave the place.

I read about taking an allergy pill before you go out, and I tried that last night. To NO SUCCESS. I was in the same boat. Sneezing, dripping, itchy... horrible.

Any other advice on what I could do to casually enjoy a glass of wine again?? I'm from Napa Valley- my parents will be so disappointed at Thanksgiving!
Is it possible that one allergy can trigger other allergies? I have never felt allergic, and now I feel like I am allergic to everything! HELP and thank you!

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I had the same thing happen when I was 35. Didn't matter what I drank, beer, wine, vodka, or Nyquil. Immediate pain in the sinuses and violent sneezing for long periods of time. Never Googled it since my docs had never heard of it. I thought I was the only one with it. Most people think I'm making it up whe I refuse a drink. Alcohol dialates the mucous mebranes in the nose and sinuses which can then cause a sneezing attack. Non-allergey rhinitus may be underling problem. No cure I know off. NOT the same as "red face" alcohol intolerance.
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Hi I appreciate hearing that I am not alone! I also wanted to follow-up because I have learned some things...

Unfortunately my allergy has not subsided. I just got home from the allergist and she said that it is pretty common for every type of alcohol to irritate an existing allergy. You/we may have other allergies that alcohol intensifies. Alcohol makes your capillaries inflamed and causes congestion in the nose (a common reaction for me). The best thing to do is to figure out what you are allergic to and try to get that in check first. A possible sinus infection could also be to blame, but if you blow your nose and it is clearish- that is likely NOT a sinus infection (only yellow or green is a sign of some sort of infection going on).

I found whiskey/scotch gave me the least reaction, wine the worst, vodka also pretty bad. I STILL have a reaction to whiskey/scotch, but not AS intense. I also found that some nights are much worse than others- which leads me to believe that other allergies are compounding this alcohol reaction. If you drink plenty of water in tandem you may be able to tolerate a glass or so, not that I recommend putting yourself through it.

My allergy has actually turned into a nasty asthmatic cough. It mostly affects me at night. My allergist has put me on a regimen of nasal spray, emergency inhalers and a weeks worth of Prednisone. Prednisone is used to treat MANY things, but particularly with crazy intense asthma and allergies. Check it out online. I just started it, but I hope this gets my allergies in check so I can slowly integrate my normal life back.

A couple other thing if your allergies have bloomed into something else like mine... I heard a kooky remedy online to put Vick's Vapor Rub on your feet if asthma-like allergies are bothering you at night. YES- your feet. Just put it all over and wear socks to bed. Unfortunately this did not work for me, but some others have had some success.
Chinese herbs are also worth a try, they didn't work for me, but everyone is different. The have particular ones for allergies/asthma... I went to Chinatown in Los Angeles and the guy seemed to know exactly what I was talking about.

I AM CURIOUS:
Did any of you stop drinking for a while (years) and ever try to drink again? Did the reaction go away? Did you have the same kind of reaction?

Good luck to you all... it really sucks huh!
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I haven't tried any alcohol at all because of the intense reaction. I have had 3 sinus operations for non-allergig rhinitus and chronic sinusitus. Don't have any underlying allergies, just bad sinus. I took aerobid via my nose for years and that took care of sinus problems, but they discontinued it because of freon propellant. Currently on Flonase and Qvar. I had been given ever increasing doses of prednesone by an allergist. A pulmonologist CAREFULLY reduced the dose and got me off of it. I only used it in a burst dose that was 25, 20, 15, 10, 5 and then zero per day along with an antibiotic for sinus infections.

Does light hurt your eyes during the sneezing attack?

Rob
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@mariany, this same thing happened to me when I was 25 (female Caucasian also). No problem drinking casually and then one night at a party, while drinking beer, my nose started running and became congested and I began sneezing uncontrollably. Unfortunately, it's happened ever since. I find that taking Sudafed before drinking helps some, as does drinking a glass of water between each drink and limiting myself to two. Wine causes the worst reaction, then beer, then liquor. I've talked to a couple of doctors about it and one gingerly suggested having just a few sips of alcohol a couple of times a week and slowly increasing the amount to see if I could build up a tolerance--I never did attempt this so I don't know if it would even work. I'm sorry I can't offer any definitive solution, but I am glad I found your post and feel better knowing I'm not the only one with this frustrating problem.
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Hi I am a 35 year old female, the exact same thing happened to me when I was around 30 by the time I was 33 it was any kind of alcohol, I am a social drinker and this frankly just really sucks!  Doctor's don't seem to understand, so through my own research I found out about the congestion be caused by inflammed capillaries in the nose, so I now take a nasal corticosteriod called Nasonex as long as I have had a a coulpe of sprays in each nostril twice a day then I can have a few glasses of wine without too much bother sometime no symptoms at all! The only thing is I have to pre plan when I am going to have a drink :( as I am scared to take Nasonex everyday and I am worried it would no longer work.  Does anyone else use a nasal steriod on a regular basis and does this work for you?
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I have found that my body builds a tolerance, as suggested in a previous post. If I don't drink for a few weeks, the first time I do- it is quite bad - but then it eases up (say on a Thursday, by Saturday night out I feel fine). I am going to try using Veramyst today because I know I am going to a whiskey dinner- its a nasal spray my asthma/allergist doctor gave me. I'll let you know if that worked for me!

I am still quite curious to know if anyone else feels like other allergies compound this one, making it worse at times?

Mine has turned into an asthmatic-like condition with chronic coughing and wheezing etc.

Also an update- I went back to trying allergy pills before I go out, and the only one that works for me is the one with the Pseudoephedrine in it- Claritin D. The only problem is that it makes me feel AWFUL the next day. Has anyone experienced that?

Some days are good and some days are not. I just wish I knew WHY!
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I am a 56 year old male with the same reaction. Started about 4 years ago. anything over 1/2 glass of wine and an hour later nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy teary eyes. Interesting, on holiday in the Caribbean no adverse reaction..woo hoo! allergy pills sometimes help but I limit my intake of drink due to the fear of a negative health reaction. Will try the Pseudo ephedrine, thanks
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I am a 35 year old black male and this has just started happening to me. I get itching along with the sneezing. It happens when I drink wine. As an experiment, I drank 10 beers last night with no reaction at all but as soon as I drank a glass of wine......The night before I had tried it with 5 glasses of Crown Royal whisky and coke also with no reacion until two glass of wine. It just started from nowhere, I drink casually (though college days over a decade ago were "alcohol abuse days") and I've never had a problem with alcohol as far as reactions go. I don't know what to tell you, I'm lucky I know it's wine I need to stay away from but that could be just the start. As far as I have reaserached, there is nothing in grapes that would cause a reaction like this. Maybe we are just freaks of nature.

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I spelled research wrong in the last posting but that's not important. When you make a post, please also indicate your allrgy history to see if we can establesh a pattern, thank you.

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I spelled allergy and establish wron in the last posting, if anything is spelled wrong in this posting, I am not coming back to correct it!

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I have been through allergy testing twice im allergic to dust mites and have regular seasonal allergies that are controlled with Reactine, my stufiness and sneezing from alcohol started with Smirnoff Ice Lemonades so I avoided them and could drink Vodka no problem then wine started to do it to me and now all alcohol does it, I hope the same thing doesn't happen to u, like I said in a previous post it is not usually an allergy to alcohol its an intolerance as it swells the cappiliarlies in your nose causing the stuffiness and sneezing etc. a nasal steroid spray usually helps this if taken before hand. It it is only wine doing it to you, u could be allergic to sulfites as wine has a higher content of it or preservatives as these are higher in wine as well, I have heard that there are drops out there that u can put in your drink to get rid of the preservatives but have not been able to find any yet, has anyone tried this or heard of these?
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My husband has been getting the same reaction for years! He doesn't eat Oysters, but he drinks beer, and whiskey, rarely. We finally figured out that he is allergic to GLUTEN. He stopped drinking, and only ate meat, veggies, and fruit, and in 2 weeks all his symptoms were gone!

There a several gluten free "beers" (which they are cider)on the market now a days. we are both on a Gluten free diet, and only experience symptoms when we eat something we weren't aware of it having gluten in it. Be careful though, a lot of products on the market that claim to be Gluten Free, are in fact NOT. There are different kinds of gluten. Check out Dr.Osborne's website, it is the best I have found...http://www.glutenfreesociety.org/ Good Luck!! =D
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Quote:



You are probably are allergic to Gluten. check out Dr. Osbournes website... 


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Same thing happened to my husband!

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I just wanted to comment.  I have been a social drinker for years and at the age of 53 I immediately start sneezing after the first drink of any kind of alcohol.  I have tried the tolerance thing and it does not work.  It doesn't matter how much I drink during the week it is the same after the first drink.  If it was a gluten thing I would think other foods with gluten would bother me but they do not.  It is definitely something in the alcohol that I have all of a sudden (and I mean sudden) have started having an allergy to.  I would love to know exactly what it is though.

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