Dr. Chacko on Outdoor Allergies and Exercise

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If you suffer from hay fever or allergic rhinitis, you may be reluctant to spend too long outdoors during allergy season. This reluctance is a particular problem for those with allergic asthma who want to exercise in the parks and other outdoor spaces around Atlanta. Of course, exercise is crucial for overall health and well-being and should be encouraged. But can you still exercise outdoors if allergies could trigger asthma attacks?

Does Asthma Prevent Regular Exercise?

Do you believe having allergies or asthma takes exercise off the table? Not so fast – exercise is still important for the body, including the lungs. Here’s what you need to know about exercising outdoors.

So before exercising outside in the springtime, there are a few things you should check. One is the pollen count. You want to make sure the pollen counts are not exceptionally high like in the hundreds or thousands.

You want to see the weather and see what the wind levels are. When there are higher winds the pollens get up more in the air and then you breathe it in and have more problems. So you’ll want to go out on a less windy day.

It’s also better to go outside after the rain. The rain keep the pollens down, versus dry days when the pollens are up higher in the air.

Make sure to take your medicine. It takes about 30 minutes to an hour for the antihistamines to work so I would take that appropriately on time. The second thing is a lot of people with allergies will also have asthma so their lungs will be constricted. Make sure you take care of your asthma medicine, your albuterol, about 20-30 minutes before you go out for your run. And when you come home make sure to take off your clothes because there will be pollen on your clothes, as well as to wash your hair and shower because there will be pollen in your hair.

High Pollen Counts Can Cause Asthma Symptoms

Sometimes the pollens get astronomically high, like in the thousands, and even those people without allergies can get symptoms at that time. At that time “a” you may want to stay indoors a little bit more or “b” take your medicines, take your antihistamines.

Some patients, even when pollen counts are low will still have bad symptoms if they’re very sensitive. So it’s a combination of your sensitivity as well as the pollen counts. Understanding pollen counts in Atlanta or your particular location is a useful way to limit the impact of symptoms.

The take-home that I want you to know are people with bad allergies should always exercise. Allergies should not stop them for exercising. Exercising actually helps open the lungs and helps people with asthma get better so we never want to prevent the exercising. They’re great treatments to help with that.

After you do all those precautions and you use the antihistamine and the nasal sprays and you’re still doing poorly, make sure you see a doctor. There are very good treatments to help you with your allergies.

Are Traditional Allergy Medications Not Working?

If your allergies are not responding to traditional medicine, allergy immunotherapy, or allergy shots, may help cure you of your allergies. Make an appointment at Chacko Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center at one of our convenient clinic locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth and Johns Creek. Call us today at (678) 668–4688.

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