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chris.neuman@totalcyclist.com

Are Allergies Killing Your Workouts?

'Tis the time of the year, when the trees and flowers are blooming, and along with that, so are your allergies. You walk outside and can just see the layer of green on top of your car. You then start to get that familiar sensation of itchy, watery eyes, sinus and nasal congestion with post nasal drip, coughing, wheezing and hacking. If you've done a long workout outside, you may even feel like you overtrained with aches, pains, and just plain feeling like you have the flu.  It makes it very hard to do your daily workouts without having to hold back or cut out early. Even if you haven't been diagnosed with seasonal allergies, we all have some component of intolerance to such high levels of pollen. So, what can you do?

First make sure that your symptoms are from allergies and not from a cold. As endurance athletes and all of the training that we do, we are continually on the verge of illness. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease has put out a nice chart on how to tell the two apart.

SYMPTOMS COLD AIRBORNE ALLERGY
COUGH Common Sometimes
GENERAL ACHES/
PAIN
Slight Never
FATIGUE/WEAKNESS Sometimes Sometimes
ITCHY EYES Rare or never Common
SNEEZING Usual Usual
SORE THROAT Common Sometimes
RUNNY NOSE Common Common
STUFFY NOSE Common Common
FEVER Rare Never
DURATION 3-14 Days Weeks
TREATMENT -Antihistamines
-Decongestants
-Nonsteroidal anti-
inflammatory meds
-Antihistamines
-Nasal steroids
-Decongestants
PREVENTION -Wash your hands off with
soap and water
-Avoid close contact with
anyone who has a cold
-Avoid things that your are 
allergic to such as pollen,
house dust mites, mold,pet
dander and cockroaches
COMPLICATIONS -Sinus infection
-Middle ear infection
-asthma
-Sinus infection
-Middle ear infection
-Asthma


If you feel that your symptoms are from allergies, there are some additional things that you can do.

-The first thing, is avoid the things that cause your allergies. Now that may not be practical unless you want to stay inside the entire spring. But you can:
-Exercise outside after it rains.
-Keep windows closed at home and in your car.
-Use air conditioning when possible.
-Avoid mowing lawns and raking leaves.
-After time outside, take a shower, shampoo your hair and change clothes.

If you decide to take medicines, remember there may be side effects as well as interactions with other meds that you take. Always consult you doctor to make sure that these are safe for you.

To read Dr. Neuman’s other blogs, please visit http://www.tccmultisport.com/blog

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