Drums and allergies

MPortnoy

Senior Member
Just a little ranting about what I'm going through right now.....

I've been playing in a band for the last year and everything was great....committed bandmates, I'm playing the type of music I like, just finished recording our first studio E.P. and we don't even have to pay for a rehearsal space because we practice at the guitarist basement.

Now the problem of that is that he just recently got a cat for his son and I'm allergic to animals but obviously I couldn't say anything because it's his house and his family.....I did mention that I was allergic though so he was aware of it, but he wasn't going to change his mind because of me, neither I expected him to.

Long story short, he got the cat and the last two rehearsals have been a nightmare.....the last time I left with a very bad red and itchy eye that lasted for a couple of days.
I just bought some allergy pills but I don't want to be taking pills forever and mess with my immune system.....I read that continued exposure to the allergen can lead to more serious problems later.

We only practice 4 hours a week (which isn't enough already) but I'm planning on cutting practice time by half (2 hours) and see how that goes....I've been able to get through the first couple of hours alright, so I'm hoping that works.
I'm devastated about it because 2 hours are not gonna be enough and I know he's gonna freak out but at this point I don't think there's much I can do.
 

sdedge

Senior Member
well health issues are not taken lightly when you are allergic to cats or animals,.
try to convince him to try a other rehearsal space,before you get really ill.
 
M

Mike_In_KC

Guest
Wear one of those masks - may be a pain but likely not as bad as allergy symptoms.... Also wearing the mask may stress even more the fact that you are miserable...
 

wsabol

Gold Member
continued exposure to the allergen can lead to more serious problems later.
I've gone through this with my seasonal allergies, it sucks. Although, I wouldn't call 4 hours a week continued exposure.

tbh, your immune system is already confused and messed up if you have allergies. It doesn't know who is friend or foe. Even if you really are worried about "messing" with your immune system, one dose of an over-the-counter antihistamine once a week is infinitesimal sacrifice if you are really committed to the band.

If over-the-counter pills isn't your thing, go to your local optometrist. He/she can prescribe you a drop for itchy eyes. I've used them and they absolutely worked wonders with my allergies.
 

MPortnoy

Senior Member
The mask could be a good idea, thanks!!

I've gone through this with my seasonal allergies, it sucks. Although, I wouldn't call 4 hours a week continued exposure.

tbh, your immune system is already confused and messed up if you have allergies. It doesn't know who is friend or foe. Even if you really are worried about "messing" with your immune system, one dose of an over-the-counter antihistamine once a week is infinitesimal sacrifice if you are really committed to the band.

If over-the-counter pills isn't your thing, go to your local optometrist. He/she can prescribe you a drop for itchy eyes. I've used them and they absolutely worked wonders with my allergies.
I agree that 4 hours might be an exaggeration for "continued exposure" but considering that my exposure before was zero, being exposed now for 4 hours a week to something my body rejects, is not too pleasant.

About the OTC pills, I'm not the healthiest person on earth and I already take more pills than I would want to (headaches and stomach issues) so that's why I'm not too keen on taking more pills.
 

Angus Macinnes

Senior Member
See a doctor they might have an injection they can give you to help with this. Other than that I would say load up on benadryl about an hour before you go. That may help.
 

brady

Platinum Member
Another remedy you may try is acupuncture. Years ago, I was allergic to cat dander. I had a few treatments from a doc, I haven't had any more symptoms since.

In fact, today I have 4 cats and a dog in my house.
 

wsabol

Gold Member
About the OTC pills, I'm not the healthiest person on earth and I already take more pills than I would want to (headaches and stomach issues) so that's why I'm not too keen on taking more pills.
Ah I see. I understand where you are coming from.

A lesson I learned with my itchy eyes- the more you touch and itch them, the worse it gets and the longer your eyes will stay red, swollen, and itchy. I know that's really cliche to say, but its absolutely the truth- I can't stress that enough.

I still strongly urge you to consider some drops. They were well worth it for me.
 

MPortnoy

Senior Member
Thanks for the tips guys.
I'll take the allergy pills one hour before each rehearsal and go with 3 hours for now and see how everything goes.
I already use eye drops everyday anyways.
 

dazzlez

Senior Member
Bring up the subject with the whole band as a group and discuss the problem. you can't go along in misery and you don't have to feel threaten about they getting rid of you... there are not that many good drummers around....
 

Bobrush

Senior Member
Bring up the subject with the whole band as a group and discuss the problem. you can't go along in misery and you don't have to feel threaten about they getting rid of you... there are not that many good drummers around....
I, too suffer from bad allergies. My experience is that everybody's allergies are a little different. My allergies are BAD. I'm really sick and tired of people telling me, "Just take some antihistamine." How about I stand on your throat and smack you in the face for a few hours and say "Just take an aspirin, I want to continue doing this to you".
Only you can know what is best for you. If a simple pill makes everything better, great. But if not, don't be afraid to stand up for your own health. Life's too short to suffer through it.
While it is nice that you have this free rehearsal space, and you can't really tell another guy what to do with his family in his house, I don't think it is too unreasonable to say, "We need a cat-free rehearsal space. I need to be able to breathe."

(FYI, regarding me: I wear masks on airplanes and while working in the yard, I did shots for many years, I've tried all the OTC options and several prescriptions, including many eyedrops, I've tried many diet modifications. The only thing that really works is avoiding what I'm allergic too. I can lead a very full active happy healthy life this way, and I don't understand why some people insist I should take drugs and expose myself to risks.)
 

MPortnoy

Senior Member
I, too suffer from bad allergies. My experience is that everybody's allergies are a little different. My allergies are BAD. I'm really sick and tired of people telling me, "Just take some antihistamine." How about I stand on your throat and smack you in the face for a few hours and say "Just take an aspirin, I want to continue doing this to you".
Only you can know what is best for you. If a simple pill makes everything better, great. But if not, don't be afraid to stand up for your own health. Life's too short to suffer through it.
While it is nice that you have this free rehearsal space, and you can't really tell another guy what to do with his family in his house, I don't think it is too unreasonable to say, "We need a cat-free rehearsal space. I need to be able to breathe."

(FYI, regarding me: I wear masks on airplanes and while working in the yard, I did shots for many years, I've tried all the OTC options and several prescriptions, including many eyedrops, I've tried many diet modifications. The only thing that really works is avoiding what I'm allergic too. I can lead a very full active happy healthy life this way, and I don't understand why some people insist I should take drugs and expose myself to risks.)
I really feel for you.....I have never been too exposed to animals for the same reason so I don't suffer from this very often but this guy has a male unneutered cat which for what I read, is the worst combination for allergies.
I have never taken allergy pills so I don't know if it will work or not, but I'll soon find out and of course if it doesn't, the next step will precisely be to tell them that we need a cat-free rehearsal space......I'm definitely not staying if I'm going to suffer this every week.
 

dat yeti

Senior Member
Bobrush, you quoted my life story! Hate taking pills cause they don't help at all, then you become dependent.

I hate hearing antihistamine too, its almost like its racist to say to an allergy sufferer.

Hey MPortnoy, I know your pain, its not fun. I sometimes use Hi-healths allergy supplement pill, similar to the one linked earlier, they do work but you have to keep taking them usually. Other than drinking water and flushing your eyes, mask is the best option besides avoiding it altogether unfortunately. But good luck with it!
 

Kurz

Junior Member
I am also allergic. I have all allergies: food, animal, dust and hay fever so I know your problem ..
This is not probably drumming issue but from my experience a try to avoid such places.
Some of pills I took says 'not drive a car after'
In my opinion it's cheaper to rent a studio than taking pills.
'Cheaper' both financial and for your health.

I can smell a cat in a mile ... so closing a basement for a cat is not a solution i
could only lower nightmare feelings

Just a little ranting about what I'm going through right now.....

I've been playing in a band for the last year and everything was great....committed bandmates, I'm playing the type of music I like, just finished recording our first studio E.P. and we don't even have to pay for a rehearsal space because we practice at the guitarist basement.

Now the problem of that is that he just recently got a cat for his son and I'm allergic to animals but obviously I couldn't say anything because it's his house and his family.....I did mention that I was allergic though so he was aware of it, but he wasn't going to change his mind because of me, neither I expected him to.

Long story short, he got the cat and the last two rehearsals have been a nightmare.....the last time I left with a very bad red and itchy eye that lasted for a couple of days.
I just bought some allergy pills but I don't want to be taking pills forever and mess with my immune system.....I read that continued exposure to the allergen can lead to more serious problems later.

We only practice 4 hours a week (which isn't enough already) but I'm planning on cutting practice time by half (2 hours) and see how that goes....I've been able to get through the first couple of hours alright, so I'm hoping that works.
I'm devastated about it because 2 hours are not gonna be enough and I know he's gonna freak out but at this point I don't think there's much I can do.
 

Anduin

Pioneer Member
Allergies are completely mysterious. Nobody knows how to prevent them. Allergy shots don’t work. Modern medicine has failed on this problem.

Benadryl (the actual drug is diphenhydramine) is still the best antihistamine, but it takes a looooong time to kick in, and when it does, it will put you to sleep. (The same drug is also marketed as a sleeping pill.) So don’t take Benadryl before playing drums!

Second-generation allergy meds start acting much faster and won’t make you drowsy. Try Reactine or Claritin (actual med is loratadine) taken at least half an hour before exposure to the evils of the small savage killing machine. Er, I mean cat.

Most people who don’t have allergies just don’t get it. They have no idea how bad it can be. They’re all “oh, so you sneeze a bit, so what?” It doesn’t even occur to them that exposure to a cat can kill you. Good luck educating the masses.
 

Bobrush

Senior Member
I have found my people!

I am also allergic. I have all allergies: food, animal, dust and hay fever so I know your problem ..
This is not probably drumming issue but from my experience a try to avoid such places.
Some of pills I took says 'not drive a car after'
In my opinion it's cheaper to rent a studio than taking pills.
'Cheaper' both financial and for your health.

I can smell a cat in a mile ... so closing a basement for a cat is not a solution i
could only lower nightmare feelings
Kurz, you have my sympathy. I have managed to escape food allergies, except for a few mild reactions. My next-door neighbor when I was a kid was allergic to chocolate, and I once worked with a guy who was allergic to sugar! I would have died (he nearly did, a few times).

I have had reactions to people who have a cat at home, when we were nowhere near their house. I'm sure that is what it was, because it was the same guy repeatedly. Cats are definitely the worst.

Allergies are completely mysterious. Nobody knows how to prevent them. Allergy shots don’t work. Modern medicine has failed on this problem.

Benadryl (the actual drug is diphenhydramine) is still the best antihistamine, but it takes a looooong time to kick in, and when it does, it will put you to sleep. (The same drug is also marketed as a sleeping pill.) So don’t take Benadryl before playing drums!

Second-generation allergy meds start acting much faster and won’t make you drowsy. Try Reactine or Claritin (actual med is loratadine) taken at least half an hour before exposure to the evils of the small savage killing machine. Er, I mean cat.

Most people who don’t have allergies just don’t get it. They have no idea how bad it can be. They’re all “oh, so you sneeze a bit, so what?” It doesn’t even occur to them that exposure to a cat can kill you. Good luck educating the masses.
Yeah, I don't why, but non-allergy people don't know just how bad it is. I've had to go to the ER quite a few times, thankfully not in a long time (because I avoid what I'm allergic to).

FWIW, I once heard a pharmacist say that Claritin peaks about 8 hours after taking it. I'm skeptical as to exactly what that means, but just thought I'd pass it on.

Yes, I can confirm that besides being of questionable anti-allergy value, some antihistamines will seriously mess with your head. I get almost-drunk, and the next day I'm really tired, because it wasn't really proper sleep, it was more of just a drug-induced unconsciousness. READ THE LABELS, and don't drive after taking benadryl.



I think a great part of the problem is advertising (at least in the US). People who don't have allergies see the commercials of people suffering terribly, then they take a pill, then they happily go walking a dog through a forest. So they believe the little pill is a magical all-powerful cure. Attention people without allergies: the commercials (like so many others) are bullshit.

I should really stop ranting and go play my drums. ;)
 

MPortnoy

Senior Member
Well, the day has come.....I have practice later today so like I said, I'm taking the pills about an hour before approaching the cat's domain and see how that works!!

The guy at the drugstore recommended Aerius so that's what I bought.....according to Wikipedia it has Desloratadine, which again, according to Wikipedia had better patient satisfaction than loratadine, so we'll see.

I can totally understand what you all guys are saying about other people not taking allergies seriously.....the day the guy told me he got the cat he just said: "oh well, we'll get you some pills".......well, he better pray that the pills work now, otherwise we'll need a rehearsal space or he'll need a new drummer.
 

wsabol

Gold Member
Allergies are completely mysterious. Nobody knows how to prevent them. Allergy shots don’t work. Modern medicine has failed on this problem.

Benadryl (the actual drug is diphenhydramine) is still the best antihistamine, but it takes a looooong time to kick in, and when it does, it will put you to sleep. (The same drug is also marketed as a sleeping pill.) So don’t take Benadryl before playing drums!

Second-generation allergy meds start acting much faster and won’t make you drowsy. Try Reactine or Claritin (actual med is loratadine) taken at least half an hour before exposure to the evils of the small savage killing machine. Er, I mean cat.

Most people who don’t have allergies just don’t get it. They have no idea how bad it can be. They’re all “oh, so you sneeze a bit, so what?” It doesn’t even occur to them that exposure to a cat can kill you. Good luck educating the masses.
I wouldn't say allergy treatment is a mystery at all, or that modern medicine has failed. Different techniques work for different allergies and for different people - its as simple as that. I'm sorry you think allergy shots don't work, maybe they didn't work for you, but they do work for many people. Furthermore, Loratadine does nothing for me and my allergies, and benedryl is kind of meh for me too. A lot of the statements in your post are subjective or just opinions.

yea, Zzzquil is literally the same as taking benedryl in liquid form, its the same drug.

I hope it went well yesterday MPortnoy!
 

MPortnoy

Senior Member
I hope it went well yesterday MPortnoy!
Thanks, it went better than I expected!!

I took the pill (Aerius) about 2 hours before practice and spent there around 3 hours. I washed my hands more often than regularly and it all went smoothly with no itchy red eyes nor the typical symptoms.....I just think my voice started to sound funny at some point but that didn't really bother me.

I'll keep taking the pills and track how it goes from now on......I just won a battle but that doesn't mean I won the war
 
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