In 2018, approximately 24 million people in the U.S. were diagnosed with allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever. With hay fever, you can expect watery eyes, runny nose, congestion and more. These symptoms can be unpleasant, but seasonal allergies shouldn’t keep you indoors.
Running, biking, climbing and other exercises can be fun to enjoy the sunshine and get your workout in. Planning for your allergies can get you out of the gym and onto the track field in no time. Let’s examine some tips for keeping allergy symptoms away from your outdoor workout.
Identify Your Allergy Triggers
Identifying your allergy triggers is the first step toward better allergy symptom management. Some triggers might be obvious. For instance, if your symptoms flare up when you pet the neighbor’s dog, you might be allergic to pet dander, but others are best identified by an allergy specialist. Your specialist will perform an allergy scratch or skin prick test to identify which allergens cause a flare-up.
Avoid Your Allergens
Once you have identified your allergens, you can structure your workout around them. Some tips for avoiding allergens include:
- Time your workouts for periods when the allergen counts in your area are low. For instance, if you’re allergic to pollen, keep an eye on the pollen count in your area and exercise when it is at a lower point.
- Keep an eye on the wind. Windy days help allergens travel. If it is a particularly windy day, you may want to postpone your workout or workout indoors until the wind has subsided.
- Know the area. If you’re allergic to pollen, you may want to avoid runs in the park and opt instead for an outdoor track field. Knowing where your allergens will be most concentrated will help you avoid them.
- Shower. Washing your hair, face and body after a workout will help make sure allergens don’t stick to you after your workout.
Some allergens can’t be avoided altogether. In those cases, knowing how to manage your symptoms is crucial.
Managing Your Allergies
Allergies can be managed in a couple of ways, including immunotherapy, allergy medication and home remedies. Let’s take a closer look at how each of these can help you manage your allergies:
- Immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is the process of injecting small amounts of the allergen into your system over a period of time to reduce the severity of your reaction to them.
- Allergy medication. Allergy medication could include decongestants, antihistamines, corticosteroids and more. They are generally over-the-counter and work to suppress allergy symptoms.
- Home remedies. Home remedies can decrease inflammation and congestion but do not suppress allergies. Some options include nasal irrigation and warm compresses.
For more help managing your allergies, contact ENT Associates of Worcester today to speak to one of our allergy specialists.