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What can I do for allergies that get worse when I exercise?

AAFA's "Ask the Allergist" is a free service provided by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Our allergist will answer your questions about asthma and allergies. We provide only general advice about managing asthma or allergies, medicines and treatments. "Ask the Allergist" does not answer questions about specific consumer products. This information is not a substitute for medical advice from your physician. Always talk with your doctor before changing your asthma or allergy management plan.

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Question
I take antihistamines every day for my allergic rhinitis. My symptoms get worse with exercise. Can you recommend a medicine that’s stronger than antihistamines or cetirizine?
Answer

Your symptoms may not be caused by allergens. If it’s not allergic rhinitis (allergies), antihistamines may not be helpful.

If you have congestion or drainage with exercise, it may be due to non-allergic rhinitis. This can often happen with allergic rhinitis.

Triggers for non-allergic rhinitis include changes in the weather, strong odors, smoke, and exercise.

Discuss this with your primary care doctor or a board-certified allergist. Ask if a nasal medicine would be helpful.

Categories
Allergy, Medicines, Nasal Allergy (Rhinitis), Treatment
Answered by

Douglas T. Johnston D.O. FAAAAI, FACAAI

Reviewed and Answered

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Comments (6)

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@Grg posted:
Hmmmm. Soooo. The 2 types: allergic and non allergic, would cover
rhinitis? Or is it more broad than that? Trying to avoid triggers for the
fall season when my immune system is the weakest, could turn into a full
time job. But I guess that is 'par for course' as I enter into this new
world of survival due to allergies and asthma. πŸ™

gps

On Mon, Oct 25, 2021, 09:55 Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America <
support@aafa.org> wrote:

@Grg, there are actually more than two types of rhinitis. There's:

  • Allergic
  • Non-allergic
  • Seasonal-allergic
  • Perennial-allergic
  • Infectious

Descriptions of each are here.

JR Denson, EMT

Support Center Manager

Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America

Hmmmm. Soooo. The 2 types: allergic and non allergic, would cover
rhinitis? Or is it more broad than that? Trying to avoid triggers for the
fall season when my immune system is the weakest, could turn into a full
time job. But I guess that is 'par for course' as I enter into this new
world of survival due to allergies and asthma. πŸ™

gps

On Mon, Oct 25, 2021, 09:55 Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America <
support@aafa.org> wrote:
@Grg posted:

How does allergic rhinitis differ from non allergic rhinitis.

Excellent question.

There's more than one type of rhinitis (or nasal allergies). Allergic rhinitis is caused by an allergen (for example, pollen or dust). Non-allergic rhinitis is caused by other things like chemicals or a deviated septum (i.e. physical nose defect) to name a few.

JR Denson, EMT

Support Center Manager

Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America

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