Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
allergy to second-hand smoke?
Old 01-05-2009, 09:36 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
simple girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,505
allergy to second-hand smoke?

Hi all,

I just returned from visiting my brother and his wife over New Year's Eve. We had a blast, but the vacation was soured by the fact that I came down with a nasty fever, headache, and sore throat Saturday night.

Now, this seems to happen every time we go visit them. They smoke a lot, and although they try to smoke outside/away from us, we still get a fair amount of smoke exposure. And, when they have a party or we go to a bar, about 90% of the people smoke, and I mean pretty much one lights up right after the other. A haze of smoke hangs in the bar.

Is it possible that I am allergic to second-hand smoke? The thing that seems strange to me is that it always is sort of a delayed onset - like 24 to 48 hours after exposure to a lot of smoke - and that it turns into a nasty cold with a fever (Saturday night my temp spiked to 102 degrees). I never heard of an allergy being associated with a fever, but this happens every time after prolonged exposure to a smoky bar. My fever continued all day yesterday and is almost gone today but the sore throat continues.

Sadly, this is really starting to limit my ability to party with bro and SIL.
__________________

__________________
simple girl
less stuff, more time

(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
simple girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-05-2009, 09:58 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
73ss454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: LaLa Land
Posts: 4,378
Only you can decide if it's worth getting sick and smelling like an ashtray is worth the night out with your Bro and SIL. I'd rather stay home and call them on the phone.
__________________

__________________
73ss454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2009, 10:40 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
I agree with your hunch that it's not an allergy to second hand smoke, but certainly some people can get asthmatic reactions to it, along with temporary dryness of the throat, etc. And let's not forget a probably higher risk of lung cancer if the exposure is long-term (such as living with a smoker).

We have basically eliminated cigarette smokers from our social circle over time. Family's another issue but I feel your pain.
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 05:02 PM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Denver
Posts: 170
You have my sympathies. I have a father that smokes and I have to limit my contact because my reaction is fairly immediate and severe. Instant headache and nausea. I generally don't have a problem with smoker friends because they don't light cigarettes from cigarettes so the exposure is more limited.
__________________
Caoineag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 06:23 PM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
Frugality_of_Apathy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 622
Quote:
Originally Posted by simple girl View Post
Sadly, this is really starting to limit my ability to party with bro and SIL.
Maybe you should just stop visiting them during cold and flu season?

I wouldn't doubt that you are stressed about being exposed to the smoke which compromises your immune system and lets you catch something in the incubation chamber they call an airplane.

You could always go make a friend with a smoker who isn't sick, or smoke a couple yourself to test it.

If you don't have a reaction within a few minutes to an hour of exposure to something you likely don't have an allergy.
__________________
Frugality_of_Apathy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 06:43 PM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 346
Simple Girl

Thanks for posting that!

I have had the same thing happen to me when I'm around cigarette smoke or dogs and cats which I'm allergic to.

Of course I'm not a doctor so my guess on it is that is must weaken the defenses of your respiratory tract and that makes getting infected that much easier.

For me it started back in grade school. One of my best friends had a dog and cat and both of his parents were heavy smokers. I would get sick soon after being at his house. It ended up that I noticed that lets say I got sick 10 times in 3years...well 8 of the ten times it was right after being around dogs and cats or cigarette smoke.

I have told others this and I don't think they take me seriously.

And I know how it is to have friends that smoke. One of my best friends would have parties at his house and everyone but me and one girl that was a cancer survivor smoked. I really wanted to see my friend but breathing in 10 other peoples second hand smoke for 5 hours was just about intolerable.

Second hand smoke kills 50,000 NON smokers a year in the United States....so IMO it can also make you feel sick.

Also think about the double standard when it comes to laws. It all depends on HOW you die that gets peoples attention.


Jim
__________________
summer2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 06:52 PM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frugality_of_Apathy View Post
If you don't have a reaction within a few minutes to an hour of exposure to something you likely don't have an allergy.
Allergic reactions can be delayed by many hours. The rapid type is from a different kind of antibody than the delayed kind but both can be mild or severe. You might be thinking of the anaphylactic type which can result in sudden death (e.g. peanuts) but even that has a delayed version, too.
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 07:01 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
simple girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,505
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frugality_of_Apathy View Post
Maybe you should just stop visiting them during cold and flu season?

I wouldn't doubt that you are stressed about being exposed to the smoke which compromises your immune system and lets you catch something in the incubation chamber they call an airplane.

You could always go make a friend with a smoker who isn't sick, or smoke a couple yourself to test it.

If you don't have a reaction within a few minutes to an hour of exposure to something you likely don't have an allergy.
Well, it may not be a true allergy, but something is going on. My husband flies back with me, is exposed to the same amount of smoke, and this never happens to him. We both have flown multiple times to see his family in the cold and flu season, and I have never ended up with a cold after visiting them.

So, it may not be a true allergy, but I think Summer could be on to something about it weakening my defenses and making it easier for me to catch something. Perhaps my immune system is sensitized to smoke. So, whether you call it an allergy or not, it has happened enough times to make me question what is going on.

That's all. Thanks for everyone's feedback. Not looking for a debate here.
__________________
simple girl
less stuff, more time

(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
simple girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 07:08 PM   #9
Full time employment: Posting here.
Frugality_of_Apathy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 622
Quote:
Originally Posted by summer2007 View Post
Simple Girl

Second hand smoke kills 50,000 NON smokers a year in the United States....so IMO it can also make you feel sick.
That number is purely manufactured by the anti-smoking lobby. There has never been a death certificate with second hand smoke as the cause of death.

The closest thing to an actual study was a meta-study the EPA did just cross referencing lung cancer deaths from people who hadn't smoked in the ten years before they died. They estimated 3000 deaths a year may have been caused by second hand smoke.
__________________
Frugality_of_Apathy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 07:34 PM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 927
I spent 4 days with my Aunt in November. She smokes like a chimney (but she's 86, so whaddya gonna do?)

After 4 days I was wheezy, lightheaded, sick to my stomach, and headachy. Had the sore throat too, and it all took a day and a half to clear up after I left.

Allergy, scmallergy -- no matter what you call it, it stinks! Take CARE of yourself!
__________________
Caroline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 07:54 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,198
I was in the dentist's office waiting room when a smoker came in. The room instantly filled with the smell of smoke. Glad I didn't have to work on her teeth.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 07:57 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
73ss454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: LaLa Land
Posts: 4,378
That nicotine addition must be real strong. I can't imagine why anyone would want to smell like that. I can understand why people can't quit my problem is how did anyone get past that stink and start.
__________________
73ss454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 08:02 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,018
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frugality_of_Apathy View Post
That number is purely manufactured by the anti-smoking lobby. There has never been a death certificate with second hand smoke as the cause of death.
Not so sure about that.

Second-hand smoke is a real threat - Profile Heather Crowe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frugality_of_Apathy View Post
The closest thing to an actual study was a meta-study the EPA did just cross referencing lung cancer deaths from people who hadn't smoked in the ten years before they died. They estimated 3000 deaths a year may have been caused by second hand smoke.
Or that either.

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/pubs/to...effets-eng.php
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 08:17 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
simple girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,505
OK, I thought I didn't have anything more to add, but I just read a little bit about vasomotor rhinitis. It really sounds possible this could be what is going on with me (except still no explanation for the fever part. That's just weird.).

Vasomotor rhinitis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

My nose constant runs, especially when I exercise, step into the cold, or eat spicy foods, etc., etc. I keep the Kleenex company in business, LOL.

I will be trying the saline rinse soon...my husband, who has true allergies to other things and has constant nasal drip, swears by this. Now if I can just stand doing it...tried it once before and it was such a weird sensation!

OK, I'm sure this is much more than any of you ever wished to know about my nose! Hopefully, though, I will be able to find some things I can do to help reduce my reaction to being around smoke. I only see my brother once or twice a year, and I love him dearly, so I am willing to put up with the smoky smell as long as I don't actually get physically sick from it. And he really does try to smoke away from me, so it's not like he isn't being sensitive to my problem.
__________________
simple girl
less stuff, more time

(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
simple girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 08:20 PM   #15
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frugality_of_Apathy View Post
T. There has never been a death certificate with second hand smoke as the cause of death.
It wouldn't be as the immediate cause might be a heart attack or cancer.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 08:58 PM   #16
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
It wouldn't be as the immediate cause might be a heart attack or cancer.
Exactly. Or stroke or bladder cancer or esophageal cancer or throat cancer or emphsema ...

It's a dose response thing. Inhale the equivalent of a third of a pack per day as a second-hand smoke inhaler living with a pack a day smoker, and you might not be as bad off as the smoker, but you're worse off than a pure nonsmoker. I see it very day.

Death certificates do not ask if the victim was a second-hand smoker.
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2009, 12:18 AM   #17
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Quote:
Originally Posted by simple girl View Post
Well, it may not be a true allergy, but something is going on. My husband flies back with me, is exposed to the same amount of smoke, and this never happens to him. We both have flown multiple times to see his family in the cold and flu season, and I have never ended up with a cold after visiting them.
I grew up with smoking parents (who could quit anytime they wanted and did so hundreds of times) and never noticed second-hand smoke until I started college. When I came home on breaks the same thing started happening to me. It's not whether the air is blue with smoke but rather the allergens in the carpeting, upholstery, curtains, and clothing. Every time someone sits down on a cushion the stuff is puffed airborne again.

When submarine crews shut the hatches and get underway, everyone is sniffling & coughing the first week with a respiratory infection... I think it's a rotavirus. It usually clears up by the second week as everyone's immune systems adjust. But if a few new people come aboard on the third week, then the entire crew is sick again for another week with a different virus. Our kid has the same symptoms when her school reconvenes after a break, especially a long break where people were traveling off-island.

When the smoking lamp was lit on submarines, the control room would literally be blue-gray with smoke. It didn't take long to feel tired, but that was a normal underway condition and hard to distinguish from chronic fatigue. (I used to develop bronchitis a couple times a year and pneumonia every 2-3 years.) However when smoking onboard was gradually phased out in the 1990s the number of respiratory infections dropped right along with the smoking lamp being put out.

So you may experiencing a combination of second-hand smoke allergies and also swapping viruses with people who you don't see very often... as well as possibly being in a stressful, alcohol-soaked environment!
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2009, 12:30 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,259
I also think smoke compromises your immune system and that's why you get a cold/fever. (Sore throat and headache can be caused by 2ndhand smoke but I am not sure if the 2ndhand smoke causes a fever.)

Since this is your family and all, why don't you try 500mg of Vit C a day starting a week before you arrive there until you get back? At least that way, you could probably avoid getting a cold/fever after your visit.
__________________
tmm99 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2009, 07:03 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,555
Quote:
Originally Posted by 73ss454 View Post
That nicotine addition must be real strong. I can't imagine why anyone would want to smell like that. I can understand why people can't quit my problem is how did anyone get past that stink and start.
I can help you understand that, at least from my point of view. I hated the smell and the taste of smoking cigarettes, but I was bound and determined to overcome it, so that I could look older and cool. The year was 1971 and I had just turned 18. I looked a lot younger though. Well, I persevered and became a cigarette smoker. I did not become cool, but I probably did start to look older, since cigarettes are very hard on your skin. I became an addicted smoker and tried several times to stop over the years. I finally stopped for good 12/31/86. I can not believe that I was ever stupid enough to start and did not have the willpower to stop for such a long time. My money literally went up in smoke during that time. My son and I both had bronchitis several times per year. The only time that I did not smoke during that time was when I was pregnant. I did not want to hurt my unborn child. However, I did smoke in the house after he was born. I am not the smartest person around. I will say that I grew up in an atmosphere where most of my relatives smoked. My brother died of lung cancer, shortly after he turned 45, on my birthday in 2001. He had quit smoking two years prior to his death. I hate being around cigarette smoke now and I am hardly around it anymore.
__________________
Dreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2009, 09:57 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
73ss454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: LaLa Land
Posts: 4,378
Dreamer, I grew up in a house where both my parents smoked. I can remember laying on the floor of our living room and looking up at the clouds of smoke in the room and the yellowing ceilings. I used to go into my room to get away from the stink. My Mom died of lung cancer and it was a horrible thing to watch. She had also stopped, but almost 50 years of smoking did her in.

I never saw smoking as something that was cool. Friends I had growing up who started to smoke quickly became people I tried to avoid.

Sorry but I never did get it. Why anyone would want to set tobacco on fire and suck it into their lungs is just beyond me.
__________________

__________________
73ss454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Turkey - smoke that sucker! unclemick Other topics 29 11-28-2008 12:21 PM
Peanut Allergy Bimmerbill Other topics 13 05-15-2008 05:35 PM
Smoke detector malfunction Corporateburnout Other topics 15 01-08-2007 01:22 PM
Rant: Everyone has their hand out... Jay_Gatsby Other topics 30 11-17-2005 11:28 PM
Smoke Alarms wabmester Other topics 6 01-08-2005 05:33 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:27 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.