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Old 04-21-07, 09:32 AM   #1
rousseau
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April bad time of year for asthma? (North America)

Here in southern Ontario the weather's fine, but there seems to be a lot of dust, sand and grit on the side of the roads after winter. The spring winds are howling across the dusty farmer's fields where I ride. Last year around this time I got choked up one evening after a nice long ride, and was given a (blue) puffer by the doctor, who said I might have a dust allergy.

I seem to have the same thing again this year. I've started taking Aerius, and may do a few hits on a puffer as well. I've got kind of a sort throat, and a slight tightness just under the throat.

(I should say that I don't actually have "asthma" per se, but perhaps one might call it exercise + dust = asthmatic symptoms)

Does anybody else here get this kind of thing sometimes? Do you just take your medication and ride through it? Is there a threshold of pain in your throat/lungs that stops you from riding for a few days? The reason I ask is because I seem to feel okay while I'm actually riding, but start to suffer a few hours after that. I don't want to go all out on the ride and inadvertently do serious damage to my lungs.

I'd be interested to hear any feedback from people suffering likewise.

Last edited by rousseau; 04-22-07 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 04-22-07, 06:43 PM   #2
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Every spring allergies hit me so bad that I acually start running a fever for a few days. Before every e-doctor tells me "thats an infection" trust me its a severe allergic reaction to two pollen sources.. ive been tested. For about a month after the sickness I get what you have (fine during the ride but cough up crud after).

Funny thing is I raced 300 miles south of my city (Memphis) this weekend and felt fine all weekend. Back home now and I am coughing. Going to the doctor this week because I cant take it anymore!

To answer your question I ride till I cant ride anymore. This time of year that means I have a hard time hanging with the local 1,2,3 "a" group rides. Feels like I cant get enough air into my lungs thus making me have a acute asthma attack at times.
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Old 04-23-07, 05:39 AM   #3
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Tennessee MUST have the highest air born pollen count in the USA! I suffer through it every spring!
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Old 04-23-07, 08:33 AM   #4
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Here in Tampa, April is a very bad month. Anyone with any tendency toward bad reactions to pollen is hurting.
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Old 04-23-07, 11:50 AM   #5
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It seems like strong headwinds make things worse, don't you think? I'm strictly a rural rider, and sometimes the smells I'm puffing through worry me:

1. The chemicals the farmers spray on their fields.
2. Chicken and pig manure.

There are times when the sprayer is directly inline and directly in between the origin of the wind and me. My heart sinks at these times, and I suffer, but I just keep going anyway. It's a ten second-injection of crap into my lungs, but, well, what're you gonna do?

Last edited by rousseau; 04-23-07 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 04-23-07, 12:19 PM   #6
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I had asthma when I was younger, but now will only occasionally feel tightness in my lungs. I don't have medication anymore, and I typically will just push through any wheezing I have. I sometimes wish I had medication but have simply never taken the time to get it because my problem is so mild and infrequent. I was never told that overexertion was a long-term risk to my lungs, although my dad was my doctor and potentially he was always more concerned about not frightening me than informing me.

If you've gone through a lot of symptomatic periods without it becoming serious, I'd just keep a small log of how bad it is, how many puffs you take, and maybe a scale of 1 to 5 of how severe the conditions were, and if you see a deteriorating trend then go back to the doctor. But I'm no doctor.
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Old 04-23-07, 08:37 PM   #7
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i did a hard ride yesterday, and experienced similar things during and after the ride. during the intense portions of the ride, i kept getting alot of "gunk" coming up that i'd constantly have to spit out, sucks for the guy tailling me haha but once i finished the ride through the mountains, i really felt it, i started coughing and wheezing uncontrollably, and now today waking up i was coughing up gunk all morning. i don't smoke, i eat well and i'm in pretty good shape, this is just crazy all this stuff is happening. now all day today i've felt as though I was sick. i think it's the time of year because last year similar things happened just minus the congested chest. im gonna see a doc this week and see what he says but im sure it'll take 10 visits to get a correct diagnosis
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Old 04-25-07, 11:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickf829
i think it's the time of year because last year similar things happened just minus the congested chest.
That's what I'm wondering, as it's the same for me. Maybe this is just something I have to put up with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickf829
im gonna see a doc this week and see what he says but im sure it'll take 10 visits to get a correct diagnosis
I haven't even bothered going to the doctor for that reason. After a week I've got a sore and scratchy throat with a cough that, cross my fingers and knock on wood, is coming from my throat and not my chest. I've been off the bike for two days in a row now, and it's killing me. Ideally I should take another 4 to 5 days away from the bike, but I don't think I can do that, the desire to ride is too great. I guess I'll just have to take it easy, though that's hard to do, too.
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Old 04-26-07, 07:54 AM   #9
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I have exercised induced asthma, but not bad. I control it with a mild steroid. I don't have much trouble during a ride, even a long ride, but after the ride and the next day I'm coughing up lots of stuff. That's just how it is. I don't worry about it. My lungs don't hurt except when I'm going really hard, but that's normal. They're supposed to hurt then. My throat is fine. My season is grass pollen and it hasn't started yet. Late May and early June are bad for me but oddly my asthma doesn't get much worse then. My face just leaks.
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Old 04-26-07, 09:04 AM   #10
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Here in Houston, in about march everything turns yellow. I mean... everything. Usually a couple good thunderstorms wash most of it away and clean the rest of the pollen off the trees, and it starts to clear up around April.
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Old 05-03-07, 07:19 AM   #11
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As a lifetime allergy/asthma person, I think I have something to add. If what you cough up is clear, its most likely allergy related. If its colored, its most likely a bacterial infection. Sometimes allergies and a cold come together (as I just went through) and its a very difficult time indeed.

For those using inhalers you should know there are 2 main classes of inhalers short term and long term. The short term ones are used when symptoms suddenly become an issue. The long term ones are just that-long term ones used daily. The short term ones should be used sparingly. The long term ones take some time to build up in your blood, so effectiveness can take a few days before really peaking.

The new non prescription drugs are pretty mild in there side effects, but also don't do a very good job at reducing symptoms. Even so, they are worth trying.

Hope this information is helpful.
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Old 05-03-07, 09:08 AM   #12
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ive discovered the wonderful world of claritin, in the past they havn't worked at all for me, but now it works surprisingly well, i started late last week, now i will wake up in the AM, take a claritin, eat my breakfast, work for an hour or so then go ride, no more runny nose, congestion, coughs or watery eyes. go me
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Old 05-09-07, 10:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rousseau
That's what I'm wondering, as it's the same for me. Maybe this is just something I have to put up with.


I haven't even bothered going to the doctor for that reason. After a week I've got a sore and scratchy throat with a cough that, cross my fingers and knock on wood, is coming from my throat and not my chest. I've been off the bike for two days in a row now, and it's killing me. Ideally I should take another 4 to 5 days away from the bike, but I don't think I can do that, the desire to ride is too great. I guess I'll just have to take it easy, though that's hard to do, too.
I'm with you there. It took 4 months and about 10 visits to diagnose my asthma. But my doctor never stopped insisting that it was just sinus infections. I was coughing all day and wheezing at night, so I went to an allergy/asthma specialist and it changed my life. So skip the doctors, and go for the specialists...
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Old 05-09-07, 10:52 AM   #14
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