The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.

Am I right or am I wrong – burning throat ivy?


I have been posting about an allergy to English Ivy we might have,

Here, here and here

Mr Furlong had his registration interview with the doctor here where we have recently moved.

He mentioned that I feel our bronchitis and pulling down of the old Ivy is connected and that we have inhaled irritants (or chemicals) causing it.

The doctor didn’t trash the idea, and said she’d do some research, but SHE thought Mr Furlong had an infection due to his “lowered immune system”


Scientifically, is it possible for two individuals to be struck down – well, that’s exaggeration I suppose – how can I say it? for two people to present the EXACT SAME SYMPTOMS at the very same time if they have an “infection”?

Mr Furlong and I have been married for 40 years, and have never been so “in tune”!

Logically, wouldn’t you think its more scientific to think we breathed in a lot of Ivy-dust at the same time, and it triggered a reaction in our throats and lungs at the same time.

Everywhere I seeĀ Exposure to ivy dust and pollen can trigger asthma or a bronchial attack

But I cannot find any proper medical literature about it on which to hang my proposition hat!

Everything I find on the Internet is a “passing phrase” – but where is the evidence?

So, is it possible “our” bronchitis is only an infection – or is it because we’ve breathed in Ivy fluff? Am I right, or am I wrong?

I dunno, because I can’t prove it….

Author: Elizabeth

I'm someone also pounding the Path, just like you.. I'm retired, going into Old Age and loving my life. I'm hoping to remain happy and well for as long as possible. Old Age is not SO bad - yet!

10 thoughts on “Am I right or am I wrong – burning throat ivy?

  1. Actually, there IS a way to test this a bit. Take an anti-allergen (e.g. benadryl) in proper dosage for a day or two to see if the problem goes away. Then stop it and see if it comes back. Of course if you’re talking about a one-time exposure this method won’t work, but if it’s an ongoing or recurring thing it might give you some feedback.

    Allergies can also interact with infections: if you’re experiencing constant post-nasal drip or such from an allergy, that can build up conditions of congestion in your upper respiratory system and bronchi that might encourage the development of bronchitis. This seemed to be my problem throughout my late teens and twenties with it eventually resolving when I stopped drinking beer in favor of wine or vodka.

    Yes, I’m the poor, sad case of an Irishman Allergic To Beer…


    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh how ironic to be allergic to beer! Mr Furlong just bought antihistamine.
      This is a one-off Ivy attack – not a continual threat. I did think of a different test to yours. I go and expose MYSELF AGAIN – well as soon as I’m better, which I’m not – but that would be really courageous/foolish/sacrificial/ and horrible – but it would be the ulimate proof for me!


  2. Pingback: Ivy science – burning throat after pruning English Ivy | The Last Furlong

  3. My husband & I shared a similar situation to yours. Last summer we pruned the ivy on our fence & he got very sick- 2 doctor visits, 3 medications & 3 months before fully recovered. He blamed it all on the ivy because he reacted with symptoms not long into our trimming. I had a mild dry throat for a few days. Fast forward to this year…we trimmed our ivy again- with much reluctance on his part. Halfway into it he began having a runny nose & throat irritation. Not wanting a repeat of last year’s illness I sent him away & continued to trim. That night I had a mild sore, dry throat & itchy skin. The next evening I finished the trimming & felt worse. Extremely dry throat. Somewhat swollen throat feeling & constant thirst. Just didn’t feel well. This lasted 24 hours. I will definitely better protect myself the next time I prune that wonderful ivy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very interesting comment! We prune with gloves and masks – and shower afterwards. Our pruning clothes get washed. Who would have thought? No one warned us! Thank you for commenting!


    • It might actually be a good idea to make that particular job one that you hire someone to do. I say that because my understanding of the way allergies work is that once you begin to become sensitized it kind of sets off a system where the next exposure might cause a much worse reaction.

      Hint however if you try anyway: Have some benadryl close at hand so that if you DO start to get a severe reaction you can pop it right into your mouth (no idea if you should swallow, chew, or put it under your tongue for fastest relief, though I’d *guess* that the chew/tongue route would be faster.

      I’d also advise AGAINST taking it UNLESS you start to have a severe reaction. If you take it to alleviate the symptoms and keep on pruning then you won’t have it to fall back on if you make the symptoms worse! Wait till you’re DONE and have washed up if you’re considering taking it just for mild/moderate discomfort.

      – MJM, not a doc, but someone who occasionally gets some throat-catchy allergic reaction to something that’s out there in the Spring/Summer.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Strange though that Mr Furlong and I were struck down sumultaneously? But your seggestion is a good one – thank you.


        • “Strange though that Mr Furlong and I were struck down sumultaneously? ”

          Just goes to prove you’re soul mates! :>

          I often remind folks on Quora that “I am not a doctor.” (and sometimes add that I’m not even a mechanical engineer! LOL!) but here I’ll warn you, “I am not a gardener.” :> (Actually I have a house plant on top of a kitchen cabinet. It was given to me back in the late 1980s. It promptly died. I have kept it as a reminder of my gardening skills.)

          In any event… since it’s ivy… any chance at all of a mutant gene variant or somesuch sneaking in? A bit of poison ivy cozying up to its long-lost buddy-buddies? The rotten apple in the barrel? The ‘bad kid’ sharing his pot in the grade school locker room?

          Or it could just be a subliminal sympathetic reaction?

          Or… wait! WAIT!!! I’VE GOT IT!!!

          **ALIENS STARSEEDS!** Furlongs, you’ve got the ANDROMEDA STRAIN in your garden! You are on the front lines of the start of A War For Planet Earth!!!!

          Save us! Please! SAVE US ALL!!!!!!!!

          – MJM, who’s gotta go add another layer of aluminum foil to his home decor….

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh ha bloody ha! I believe the time of year makes the difference. And the dryness makes a great deal of fluffy dust you breathe in. Andomeda strain ate plastic – sounds good to me! But our Ivy is plain English Ivy , sorry to say. Tinfoil is ALWAYS a good idea. Never underestimate the power of tinfoil! It’s lovely and shiny too….


  4. Pingback: Sickness from Ivy | The Last Furlong

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