Do Workout Sniffles Mean You’re Allergic to Exercise?

Have you ever gotten a bad case of the sniffles during or after a workout? If so, you’re not alone! Many people, including athletes, get a runny nose while exercising. The technical term for this condition is “exercise-induced rhinitis“, and it can feel just like an allergy. Here are three things you should know about this odd, and oddly common, condition.

It Feels Like a Real Allergya photo of a woman blowing her nose

There are practically no differences between the symptoms of exercise-induced rhinitis and those of regular allergies. The most common complaints are a runny or stuffy nose, sinus headache, and sneezing. Scientists are, so far, unable to tell why some people suffer from this condition, while others don’t.

It Can Be Worsened by the Weather

Exercise is often the only factor involved. Some people get exercise-induced rhinitis just from working out. Others only experience it when the weather is cold. Some athletes find that the presence of pollen in the air makes the condition worse, even if they don’t normally suffer from seasonal allergies.

It Can Be Dangerous to Some

In rare, extreme cases, people have been known to show severe allergic reactions to exercise. These include hives, asthma attacks, and even anaphylactic shock! Since anaphylaxis can cause a deadly swelling of airways, these unfortunate folks are taking their lives into their own hands when they work out.

Thankfully, most cases of exercise-induced rhinitis are very mild. If you have health related questions, please consult a physician.

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