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Thread: Pollution?

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    Senior Member claire's Avatar
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    Pollution?

    Hi there,
    After all my rides (usually 3-4 hour rides) I have some difficulties breathing really deep, and it usually disappears after an hour. It doesn't boother me when I ride (unless it's really hilly), but I was just wondering if it would be due to car pollution, or if it's something to see with me. Does anyone have any experience in that matter?
    Thanks.
    Claire

  2. #2
    Go Boilermakers!!!!!!!!!! RunYun's Avatar
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    I get the exact same thing. I am curious too.

    " The key to a happy life is low expectations :-)"
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    Senior Member danr's Avatar
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    I've lived in both polluted and non-polluted areas. I've always experienced the same thing. Of course, I don't think the pollution does much good in the long run.
    Does the perfect bike really exist?

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    Can't ride enough! Da Tinker's Avatar
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    It may be exercise induced asthma. You could try a bronchial dialator inhalor, either Rx or OTC. Ask your doctor (if you can afford the rates).
    Happiness begins with facing life with a smile & a wink.

  5. #5
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    I was thinking the same thing- exercise induced asthma. Before you second guess yourself, see a doctor first and explain your symptoms, and try to find a doctor that deals with people who are avid exercisers so they don't think it's "all in your head".

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    Go Boilermakers!!!!!!!!!! RunYun's Avatar
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    It's not really difficult to breath I just tend to cough or feel like I am going to cough. It's not bad, just a slight nuisance. I will talk to my doctor at my next check up.
    " The key to a happy life is low expectations :-)"
    04' Cannondale R3000, 97' Trek 990, 93' Cannondale M400, 92' Paramount Series 5, 87' Schwinn World Sport.

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    山馬鹿 Spire's Avatar
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    A tell tale sign that you have pollution related breathing problems is a sort of wheezing.

    Its sort of a misconception that there is only pollution in cities. The pollution of a city can extend to a hundred miles or more.

    Even more, pollution from one region can impact another. For example, in Montreal, about half of the air pollution is actually generated in the Mid-West US.
    http://www.cyclistsroadmap.com/eng/ - Cyclists' road map. Checkout which roads are good for cycling and rate roads in your area.

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    I don't know what the terrain is like around Toronto, but in spring in the Australian countryside 2 hours out of town there's lots of pollen and dust and stuff and I often get the slightest touch of hayfever. Could that be it?

    cheers,
    Ants

  9. #9
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    Run-Yun: I had a similar condition when I went to Malaysia for a short visit. As soon as I hit Kuala Lumpar, I had a coughing and hacking condition until I left (or fled, more like it). Doesn't matter where the pollution comes from- which country it originated from makes no difference and doesn't do anything to explain or treat your condition. What's important is if something is in the air that affects your breathing. Maybe a result of pollution, maybe a result of exercise induced asthma, maybe there's some extra pollen in the air- who knows? Whichever it is, see a doctor. They can take a thorough history and hopefully isolate the problem.

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    Jungle lady cbhungry's Avatar
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    It sounds like you have what is called late response vs. early response exercise induced asthma (EIA). (Specifically a subcatagory called refractory period EIA.) It is significant since over the counter bronchodilators when used before excercise only helps the early response EIA.

    Early response EIA occurs within the first 6 to 8 minutes of exercise where you have reached at least 80% of your max heart rate. (therefore low intensity walking will not trigger it) The theory behind early response EIA is not inflammatory related and is due to changes in humidity, osmolarity gradient etc. in the bronchial tubes as a person goes from nose breathing to mouth breathing, thus bypassing the criticlal airway passages that humidify and moisten the air before it reaches the bronchiol tubes where the spasms occur. The late response EIA seems to be inflammatory mediated in much the same way people with regular asthma are affected. Therefore, things like sensitivity to the pollutants, pollen, dust etc. may be playing a role since after 2-3 hours of riding, you have exposed your lungs to a greater "allergen load" and thus triggered the late response EIA. Only prescription drugs with a long half life such as Singulair(montelukast) or a long acting beta agonist will help. The short acting ones such as some forms of albuterol will not be kicking in at the time you specified that you are having trouble.

    See a doc, preferabbly one that is active enough to not pose the question "So what are you worried about if you can exercise at least 3 to four hours?" Leave if that is the response you get and seek out one who understands your plight.
    Last edited by cbhungry; 05-26-03 at 06:42 PM.
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  11. #11
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    It sounds like you have what is called late response vs. early response exercise induced asthma (EIA). (Specifically a subcatagory called refractory period EIA.) It is significant since over the counter bronchodilators when used before excercise only helps the early response EIA.

    Early response EIA occurs within the first 6 to 8 minutes of exercise where you have reached at least 80% of your max heart rate. (therefore low intensity walking will not trigger it) The theory behind early response EIA is not inflammatory related and is due to changes in humidity, osmolarity gradient etc. in the bronchial tubes as a person goes from nose breathing to mouth breathing, thus bypassing the criticlal airway passages that humidify and moisten the air before it reaches the bronchiol tubes where the spasms occur. The late response EIA seems to be inflammatory mediated in much the same way people with regular asthma are affected. Therefore, things like sensitivity to the pollutants, pollen, dust etc. may be playing a role since after 2-3 hours of riding, you have exposed your lungs to a greater "allergen load" and thus triggered the late response EIA. Only prescription drugs with a long half life such as Singulair(montelukast) or a long acting beta agonist will help. The short acting ones such as some forms of albuterol will not be kicking in at the time you specified that you are having trouble.

    See a doc, preferabbly one that is active enough to not pose the question "So what are you worried about if you can exercise at least 3 to four hours?" Leave if that is the response you get and seek out one who understands your plight.


    Wow, that's good stuff. Thanks, CB!

    Koff

  12. #12
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Originally posted by cbhungry
    See a doc, preferably one that is active enough to not pose the question, "So what are you worried about if you can exercise at least 3 to four hours?" Leave if that is the response you get and seek out one who understands your plight.
    This is excellent general advice for anyone having to deal with any
    medical practitioner.
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  13. #13
    Gordon P
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    For example, in Montreal, about half of the air pollution is actually generated in the Mid-West US.
    Yeah, and the other 1/2 comes from Ontario.

    It sounds like you have what is called late response vs. early response exercise induced asthma (EIA). (Specifically a subcatagory called refractory period EIA.) It is significant since over the counter bronchodilators when used before excercise only helps the early response EIA.
    No, it is only from the Toronto air and that is why my lungs are soooo happy to be living in the west.

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    Crank Crushing Redneck SamDaBikinMan's Avatar
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    I'm fine while riding but once I stop and slow down I begin to develop flegm and cough for a while until my body settles down.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Maybe as Ants suggested it is a seasonal thing, an alergy to all the flowering field plants.

    I am afflicted this time of year with my breathing for the 3 weeks or so by the oilseed **** pollen. After the flowers from this plant die off I am o/k again.

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    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    jungle lady is right on. exercise in early morning or evening, before and after the day. the problem gets worse as the morning dew evaporates and as it rises it brings the allergens with it. i have seasonal exercise induced asthma. it is made worse with dehydration. Rx's like singulair and accolate act as do the long acting inhalers like serevent or flovent.
    as more and more people move out to the dessert and suburban lawns and gardens pop up, even these places get significant allergies and pollution rates.
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    Could it be allergies? My doctor thought that it was exercise induced asthma until I went to an allergist and found out that I was allergic to numerous things. He started me on claritan and all the sign have cleared up. I haven't had to use the inhaler anymore.

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    Jungle lady cbhungry's Avatar
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    Allergies and late response excercise induced asthma are opposite sides of the same coin. It's probably why singulair (which is also used for allergies works well with EIA.) So to answer your question, yes. That's why he/she needs to see the doc.
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    Originally posted by claire
    Hi there,
    After all my rides (usually 3-4 hour rides) I have some difficulties breathing really deep, and it usually disappears after an hour. It doesn't boother me when I ride (unless it's really hilly), but I was just wondering if it would be due to car pollution, or if it's something to see with me. Does anyone have any experience in that matter?
    Thanks.
    Claire
    If you don't notice similar difficalties while riding somewhere in the woods, then possibly it is the problem.
    Not very likely, though...

  20. #20
    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
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    Hmmm now I have to talk to doc about it I just thought it was lung clearing I get a lot of flem when I ride it tends to be towards the beginning of my ride (especially going up hill) but it subsides before the end of the ride. After I ride I really do not have any trouble breathing though I do have a wheeze sometimes. Always chalked it up to 26+ years of smoking and all those good exhaust fumes I suck in during my commute.
    Matthew 6

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    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RunYun
    It's not really difficult to breath I just tend to cough or feel like I am going to cough. It's not bad, just a slight nuisance. I will talk to my doctor at my next check up.
    I get the same thing. I think my throat just gets a little raw from breathing so hard. Let us know what you find out.

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    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Spire
    For example, in Montreal, about half of the air pollution is actually generated in the Mid-West US.
    Who said the US didn't have any products to export.

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    I have exercised induced ashama but refuse to take medicine. I've seen the long term effect these drugs have on you and WILL NOT subject myself to spending the rest of my life on medication. Ashama is a condition that does not get better with age and tends to get worse causing you to need stronger medication with higher doses.

    Lets see. A doctors visit in New York City is about $175.00 and the medicine is another $90.00 - $150.00. All this expense just to ride a bicycle is crazy. Even though I have health insurance, these drugs cause other problems like loss of sleep, heart problems, neverousness, on and on. If you read the instructions of these drugs, you'll see a host of problems they create so you don't want to stay on them forever. But guess what. Ashma has no cure so once you get on these drugs, it usually ends up being forever. Furthermore, these powerful drugs conflict with other medication and if you have a medical history of high blood pressure or heart disease, watch out. What the doctors don't tell you is that long term use of these drugs cause permanent respiratory lung and heart damage.

    This year alone, thousands of ashma sufferers will die not because they didn't have medication, but because the drugs STOPPED WORKING after years of overexposure. I do not under any circumstance want to become dependant on these or any drug because your body will need more of it as you get older. Some people can walk away from these drugs but many won't. I'm not going to fall into that trap.

    Here's what I do.

    I ride at a leisurely pace so the condition doesn't flare up. In the winter, I come to a stop after 2 miles. If I have to caugh, I do it. There's nothing wrong with caughing. This is natural and your bodies way of extracting a foreign object. As you ride more, you'll expand your lung capicity and that will enable you to ride longer. You don't need to drugs to do this. Lets face it. If you're an ashma sufferer, your dreams of becoming the next Lance Amstrong are pretty much over and taking drugs to do it is folly. City riding is always going to have a negative impact on the ashma sufferer and you'll just have to deal with it. The other day, I inhaled some pollutant that caused me to caugh but the last thing I needed was an inhaler.

    Bottom line. Spending $200 - $300 for drugs to ride a bicycle, is the wrong way to solving a simple problem.

  24. #24
    Jungle lady cbhungry's Avatar
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    What the doctors don't tell you is that long term use of these drugs cause permanent respiratory lung and heart damage.
    I'd like to see the data.


    Actually the data is the opposite. Poorly controlled asthma results in long term damage as siginificant as chronic obstructive pulmonary diseae due to a process called airway remodeling. We used to think asthma was a reversible process. Your advice may only apply to excercise induced asthma since long term studies do suggest airway remodeling and subsequent damage from poorly controlled moderate to severe intrinsic or atopic asthma.....so I would not be espousing your theory to the general asthmatic population. There is no data on albuterol or singulair causing long term damage. Serevent can cause heart problems if people use it incorrectly by taking them for rescue treatments and accolate (which most docs don't use) can cause an idiopathic eosinophilic syndrome. Inhaled steroids prevent progression of the long and slow decline in meaurable lung volumes (FEV1) etc. rather than moderate or severe asthmatic who doesn't use them.

    here is a general review http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/446395_2


    This year alone, thousands of ashma sufferers will die not because they didn't have medication, but because the drugs STOPPED WORKING after years of overexposure.
    Once again the opposite is true.
    Asthma is the fastest and growing cause of death compared other modern diseases where mortality has decreased. Most of them in young people not using their inhalers correctly or getting their asthma under control. It's actually associated with decrese in asthma medicine usage especially inhaled corticosteroids (see link below). Most of the deaths I've seen are people still clutching their empty, expired inhalers. Had they refilled their meds on time or had it around ready to go, their lives would not be ended.


    Another link http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/445503
    Last edited by cbhungry; 05-28-03 at 12:02 PM.
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    Air pollution causes me to have asthma attacks but it happens when we have unhealthy air days and it will start immediately. Even driving in the car with the windows down or at school with the windows open will cause an attack. It starts with a cough and I notice my breathing is very shallow. I can't stop coughing so I carry my inhaler and use it.
    This weekend I was riding with a group and a car got between me and a group of cyclists. The car would not pass. I was inhaling the fumes and I started coughing. I couldn't stop. The car finally passed the group and I was able to get out of his emissions and I settled down.
    I do not have asthma but I react this way to cigarette smoke, perfumes, cold air so I usually always have my inhaler in my bag.
    Kathi

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