Dr. Chacko Discussing Outdoor Allergies and Exercise

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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 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 off because they’ll be pollen your hair.

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.

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.

If your allergies are not responding to the traditional medicines or you don’t like them, there’s something called allergy immunotherapy, or allergy shots that help you to cure you of your allergies, and that’s often a treatment that will help significantly with bad springtime pollens.

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