I have allergies and it seems like they just get worse as I get older. And sensitivities that get worse as I get older. And reactions to chemicals and scents and…. and…

I have reacted to normal hair dye, vegan hair dye, natural sensitive skin lotions, normal shampoos (allergic to SLS sulphates apparently) and every single thing in the ragweed category. And nickel. Detergents. And the list goes on and on, my friends.

Title: With fibromyalgia why all the allergies, sensitivities and even non-allergic rhinitis? 
Image: Woman holding hand under nose and other hand with tissue in it

Allergies and non-allergic rhinitis

But is there a connection between fibromyalgia and allergies? We do seem to have allergies more often. (source)

However, there is something that is connected to fibromyalgia that we may mistake for allergies called Non-Allergic Rhinitis. And it is common in Fibromyalgia as well which complicates the issue.

You might have this if it seems like your allergies just stick around all damn year long. As mine seem to do. I know I have allergies to ragweed, for example. But there is no damn ragweed in the depths of winter. Approximately half of people with allergies Also have non-allergic rhinitis, so there is that.

Symptoms of Non-Allergic Rhinitis

  • Runny nose
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Sneezing
  • Chronic cough
  • Sinus headache

I often confuse these with my asthma but and allergies but it just doesn’t Stop. And treatment doesn’t Help.

And sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between your allergies and non-allergic rhinitis so you have to work closely with a doctor to determine what the heckballs is going on.

Obviously for your allergies antihistamines are going to help but for non-allergic rhinitis – nope. In that case, you must avoid triggers- hmmm.

Some triggers

  • Environmental- like dust or fragrances
  • Weather changes
  • Infections
  • Foods
  • Medications
  • Hormonal changes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Acid reflux

See more at Mayo Clinic

But things that may give some relief and that have helped me modestly:

  • Nasal corticosteroid spray (this works great for me)
  • Saline nasal spray (This is suggested but I have not tried yet)
  • Anticholinergic nasal spray (This one I researched but also have yet to try)
  • Nasal irrigation with a saline solution (Things like the Neti pot which I am considering)

Because I also have asthma I do use a humidifier at night to help me breathe. I find that helps too. But in the winter when it is exceptionally dry… I do the opposite in the summer when it is humid. And I have a HEPA air filter in the living room as well that I run to clean the air.


Also consider Sensitivities

Consider also our environmental sensitivities and reactions to those triggers like perfumes, fragrances, chemicals and more.

Simply stated, we become sensitive to a variety of elements in our environment: perfumes, tobacco smoke, odors/fumes, foods, medications, and even changes in weather or humidity. Our friends and relatives may label us fussy or neurotic, but the reaction is real and is aptly called “irritant rhinitis”. Although the exact mechanism which causes it is still unknown, irritant rhinitis is thought to be the result of overly sensitive nerves and nerve reflexes,(3,4) perhaps similar to the hyperactive central nervous system response which causes the brain/body to overreact to other sensory stimuli with FM, such as noise, light, and touch.

Irritant rhinitis is problematic for another reason. Not only are its symptoms annoying and even debilitating when severe, they are also exceedingly difficult to treat. Unlike its cousin, allergic rhinitis, whose immune responses and inflammation can at least be countermanded with antihistamines and anti-inflammatory medications, irritant rhinitis has no obvious antidote other than avoidance of the offending stimulus. In a society where we are often bombarded with environmental stimuli, this is not always practical or possible.


So there are actually a lot of things we have to consider in our environment and the products we use and the treatment for our allergies. As well as if we might have non-allergic rhinitis that also should be treated and managed.

Fibromyalgia and sensory sensitivities
Allodynia in fibromyalgia

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2 thoughts on “With Fibromyalgia why all the allergies, sensitivities and even non-allergic Rhinitis?

  1. Ooo this is a really interesting one. I developed suspected Sjogrens and it led to quite severe sinusitis. My GP said it’s likely to just keep happening so while we’ve been able to improve it a bit, it just keeps getting worse. I think mine has developed – like the fibromyalgia and ME/CFS and everything else – as a result of my first surgery and an allergic reaction to a particular implant I have. I’ve had similar things to what’s mentioned here with post-nasal drip, sinus headache, but also sinusitis, dry nose, etc. I made the mistake of using an over the counter sinus spray for over a year because nothing else worked (the kind you should use for a max 5 days) and coming off that was difficult. Controlling it all is generally just very difficult. Great post to take a look at this potential link, Nikki,

    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

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