Allergies & Training

Like many, I have terrible allergies. Grass, trees, weeds, pretty much everything in Arizona. In fact, the allergist I saw said my allergy skin test was one of the worst they had ever seen.

I’ve started in on allergy drops but am not far enough in to tell if they’re making an impact.

Using Flonase to keep a nasal polyp at bay (until I can get my allergies under control enough to get it removed and decrease the likelihood of it coming back) but oftentimes, the most annoying symptom is I begin to have trouble catching my breath each evening. A dose of albuterol fixes it. But occasionally, chest congestion from my body’s reaction to any allergens builds up enough where it stops my training until it clears.

I was curious to hear stories from others who struggle with allergies affecting their training and what everyone typically does to manage them?

I am allergic to most environmental allergens and pet allergens. I grew up around animals as well. I tend to do well with repeated exposure but my deviated septum seems to lead to my nasal congestion quickly after exposure. I make certain to use my cetirizine daily (allergist recommended two tablets daily) and my Flonase daily. I tend to reserve my Flonase for more severe symptoms as a back up because after that only sleep and Benadryl helps.

I have tried the immunotherapy but my schedule does not allow me to continue. I saw no appreciable improvement in symptoms over the year I had it administered. Long bike rides with high intensity I seem to get the worst symptoms paired with chest congestion.

My grass/tree/cat allergies are so bad that I actually passed out during a skin test 20 years ago! Somewhere along the line we adopted a cat, it started off living in the garage and almost like shot therapy that low level of exposure has reduced the severity of my spring allergies. Or the bright side of being in my 50s? Living in California’s Central Valley we have a lot of trees and grass… I’m down to taking generic Claritin from mid February to mid Sept. When my allergies do flare up, I take a break from riding.

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@Lactobicyclist Did you ever consider allergy drops? They gave me the choice between shots and drops & doing drops at home myself vs. going in every week for shots was one of the main reasons I chose that route. Allergist said they had seen similar effectiveness. Again, too soon for me to know if it helps or not but worth considering. Only downside is that you have to pay for it out of pocket. Because it’s not FDA approved, insurance won’t cover anything. I get ~3 months worth of drops for $280.

@bbarrera Wow, that’s crazy you straight up passed out. Definitely have me beat, though I suppose that’s not something we want to compete in. Ha How long do you typically find you need to stop riding before you can continue?

@ncomerford Yeah that was actually a bit of a scare for the nurse administering the test (and me too). The funny thing is, compared to the past, these days its almost like not having allergies except for the runny nose. And in the summer I jump in the pool after a hot ride in the 90s F and the pollen on surface of pool makes me sneeze and wheeze, and get itchy eyes, for about 15 minutes.

We have another cat and its an indoor/outdoor cat. Every once in awhile the cat causes a flare up, otherwise I swear having the cat inside is like getting allergy shots without the doctor’s office visit and bill!

I might stop riding for a couple of days max, in April/May when my symptoms tend to be worse.

I’m in the same boat, and have done allergy shots to try and help, and I do feel like shots have helped me. Last time I did an allergy test, I got 40 mm welts from some of the molds they tested me for. I had to get an allergy pill along with the anti-histamine cream to get the swelling to go down. In the end though, to be able to do VO2 max efforts, I had to go on an asthma controller, and have been stable because of it. If your lung passages are inflamed, that’s technically mild asthma, and you may consider going down that road, or possibly just more allergy pills on those days. I can absolutely feel my oxygen intake go down when the allergens are high though, so you are not alone. Find a doctor who does allergies and asthma, and that may be a big help.

Dude, go see a pulmonologist or have your allergist check a pulmonary function test and/or exhaled nitric oxide test to evaluate for asthma. Or come see me in North Carolina :grinning:

Arizona is only one of 2 places in the world I have been where I didn’t get allergies!

I have taken seretide for a number of years (Fluticasone propionate / Salmeterol) and got to say my asthma and chest symptoms are the most controlled they have ever been.

Only during peak allergy season (for me is May/June when lots of tree pollen is out) do I have to supplement with an anti-histamine tablet. Usually Cetirizine Hydrochloride is enough but have used Fexofenadine on the very worst days.

There are side effects that I experience, especially on Fexofenadine, but the side effect of not taking it is trouble breathing and constant watery eyes/nose.

Good luck sorting it!

I was never given the option for the drops, but it has been quite a few years. I have recently changed providers so I may look into it. The ability to take at home sounds like it would be up my alley.

Long time allergy sufferer. Too many items impact me. Many years ago had a constant cough which was determined to be related to my allergies. Took tests and did allergy shots. Dramatic improvement. After a few years noticed definite improvement. Stopped the shots after 5 years. Went the next year without a problem. Cough came back this year, impacted breathing etc. Started back on shots and slowly getting things back to the way they were. The shots make a huge impact for me.