"I felt like I had a permanent cold" 

Melissa Murphy, from Bedfordshire, discovered she had perennial allergic rhinitis nine years ago.

“I had never heard of rhinitis and had no idea it was an allergy. I eventually went to see a doctor because I felt like I had a permanent cold. My nose felt really blocked up, tight and stuffy. It was really uncomfortable, and although it wasn’t as bad as a cold, the symptoms never went away. I initially thought it was a mild cold, but the doctor diagnosed allergic rhinitis and said it was likely to be something at home triggering the symptoms, such as animal dander, house dust mites or mould.

“I didn’t have any pets and lived in a new house, so I thought it was unlikely to be mould. I decided to pay for a private allergy blood test, and the results showed that dust mites were causing my rhinitis.

“I was prescribed a nasal spray and started using it every day. Within a few days, it really helped to relieve my symptoms. My nose didn't feel so tight and I could breathe more easily.

“I contacted Allergy UK and found out several things I could do at home to reduce dust mites. I bought a new duvet and pillows, and used allergy covers. I also bought an allergy mattress protector and vacuumed more regularly.

"Since then, I've moved and have opted for wooden flooring everywhere, instead of carpet. It's easy to clean and helps to get rid of dust mites. I don’t have to use my nasal spray all the time now. I just use it when my nose feels tight or stuffy.”

Picture of Melissa Murphy

'I don’t use my nasal spray all the time, just when my nose feels tight or stuffy' 

Page last reviewed: 01/04/2014

Next review due: 01/04/2016