February 21, 2012

Health and Wellness: Allergies To Watch Out For

White wine can be the culprit
Allergies are like thieves in the night. You are not aware of them until after the fact. I recently developed two allergies that I never thought would cause me so much misery and discomfort. One of them I was unsuspectingly exposed to during a root canal procedure that happened this week. This post is meant to be precautionary and not a medical advice. Due to the unexpected consequences I encountered, I thought best to share. If you've got wine allergy like me, I urge you to read on.

During my root canal procedure, Novocaine was used to numb my gum and nerves. I never thought anything of it. Why should I? All I know is that it is the anesthesia that my dentist was using on me and other than that, I can't wait to breeze through the procedure. And true to my sentiment, after spending more than an hour in the dentist chair with my mouth wide open all those times, I couldn't wait for it to be over and head home.

I did finally go home with half of my face numb but confident that everything went well and that my next challenge was to brave the pain (with the help of pain medication) after the anesthesia wears off. The great thing is, sleep and tiredness overcame me before I can give the anesthesia chance to wear off.

Lucky me? No!

An hour into my nap, I was awaken by incessant itching on my ear, face and neck. Upon touching the suspected areas, I discovered that they were covered with blistering, nasty hives that felt like it was burning. Then of course, there was the pain creeping in as the anesthesia is creeping out. Why the heck do I have hives? And what caused it?

Any guess? If you say, I was having an allergic reaction to Novocaine (like I did), then you are half-right! A quick research revealed something far beyond my wildest guess. According to Dental Fear Central, my hives was a classic symptom of an allergic reaction to the local anesthesia but the underlying cause shocked me!

It says that "most people who have genuine allergic reaction to local anesthetics are not allergic to the actual anesthetic agent and that it is much more common, though still rare, to be allergic to preservatives in the anesthetic solution."

And what is this preservative?
Sodium bisulfite or metabisulfite. The same preservative used in white wine! And one I have developed high allergies to! Now this is what you call a real freaky circumstance!

So just a word of caution, if you have allergies with wine due to sulfite:
  • Make sure to indicate this in your patient information or,
  • Mention it to your dentist or your doctor 

Err on safety. Having hives while in utter pain is not a pleasant way to spend a lazy afternoon! Neither is popping pain pills and allergy medications at the same time.

Now I'm also allergic to a certain pain medication that treats inflammation which made it trickier to treat my pain. But let's just say that Vit. C and Garlic Pills were one of my BFF's to date! Whatever works without the allergic reactions, right?

I'm still in a bit of pain and my hives have finally disappeared, yet I still have this nagging feeling like I want to bite someone. This could be how it feels when a child is teething. It's such an odd feeling. Aren't you glad you're not near me right now?


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