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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    350

    Allergies, Asthma or whatever

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    Hello to all and thanks for reading. I recently completed the Aids Ride. 2-3 days before I left I started feeling a post nasal drip.

    Earlier in the year I had what I thought was a sinus infection and my doctor diagnosed it as allergies. She said this is the worst allergy season she has seen in a long time. She put on a nasal spray and claritin with the decongestant. Well it did dry me up, but too much. I had horrible dry mouth and was really so dehydrated it was hard to ride. So I stopped taking the Claritin and just kept the nasal spray. The drip returned but was minimal, so I lived with it.

    Back to the days before the aids ride, I basically lost my voice because of the nasal drip. I went ahead a did the aids ride, living with the drip and at night it developed into a horrible cough. It was horribly winding while we were on the ride which made things worse.

    My symptoms have improved, but I still have a nasty cough. It doesn't hurt and is more bothersome.

    I had several bike friends say that maybe I have asthma. I'm reluctant to see my doctor because she basically told me the only thing I could do for my allergies was the claritin/nose drops or stop riding (not an option).

    I have recently started the saline rinse that everyone recommends, but was wondering what do you do? And aren't there professional atheletes who ride too? What do they do? I can't believe there isn't some other alternative.

    I'm going to stop ranting now and look for my cleanex....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Posts
    29
    That doesn't sound like asthma to me.
    With a smile like that, I gotta flirt.
    Girl, you look like you just got off work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,391
    I tried Claritin for a little while (nasty tree pollen allergy, especially cedar, for me) and I didn't like it. The allergist I saw put me on Allegra instead. It doesn't work the same way as Claritin so it doesn't dry you out, make you jittery or put you to sleep. Regular antihistimines really get to me, I get every side effect they list, but I don't get any side effects off of Allegra. On the other hand, this year it didn't really take care of the symptoms either.... (Allegra + Flonase and I was still snot city) so he gave me Singulair too, but as usual I waited a little too long and my symptoms were diminishing by the time I got an appointment, so I'll have to wait until next spring to see how well it really works. The only side effect I get from the Singulair, is that I seem to sleep more soundly, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,648
    I started using a neti pot a few years ago during a particularly bad allergy season . . . I was desperate for any relief and a friend had told me about them (at the time I looked at her like she had two heads)

    I mix about half a teaspoon of sea salt with a cup of boiling water then let it cool to about body temperature. You can google about the technique, there are a number of websites that describe it. It clears out the sinuses and reduces post-nasal drip pretty effectively. Sinuses will still be pretty inflamed, but at least I can breathe! And I don't think my symptoms last as long since I started doing this.

    If I think I'm getting a cold, I'll add a dropperful of alcohol-free goldenseal extract to the mix.

    I've tried some of the saline spray/irrigation products out there -- I think the neti pot has worked best for me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    See an allergist.

    Allergy shots (immunotherapy) is homoeoepathic therapy (well, technically homoeotoxic), completely "natural" and works better than any drugs out there, because it trains your immune system not to go crazy when it sees the allergens.

    There are other non-drowsy drugs out there - people have already mentioned Singulair and Allegra. Singulair is particularly effective if you do have asthma, but it really doesn't sound like it to me, either. Did your doctor give you a breathing test?

    I do take the drugs when I need to, and sometimes irrigate, but nothing's improved the quality of my life more than allergy shots.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Shelbyville, KY
    Posts
    1,473
    If you had asthma you would feel like you were trying to breath through a soda straw that was in your mouth. The end sticking out of your mouth would feel like it was totally pinched closed. Basically, you would be trying to suck air through an opening that no longer exist.

    I agree with Oakleaf, see an allergist if your allergies are a reoccurring issue. I went through the tests about 15 years ago and have taken shots since. The shots have made a world of difference for me during my worse seasons (spring and fall). The number of sinus infections I suffer from has also dramatically decreased.

    I do take daily medicines - allegra, singulaire and I use two inhalers to control my asthma. It may take trying several medications/combinations before you find what works best for you. What works for one person may not work for you.
    Marcie

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Quote Originally Posted by makbike View Post
    If you had asthma you would feel like you were trying to breath through a soda straw that was in your mouth. The end sticking out of your mouth would feel like it was totally pinched closed. Basically, you would be trying to suck air through an opening that no longer exist.
    Mild asthma doesn't always feel that way. A person could definitely be unaware of it, and just have the cough because crud was building up in their lungs because of incomplete exhalations; or not even that symptom. Sometimes asthma is very obvious, but the only way to really know you don't have it is to have a breathing test that compares the amount of air you can exhale in one second, against your total lung capacity. Even though asthma feels like you can't get air in, in reality it's that you can't get air out.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    16
    I agree with the others, that is probably not asthma. I have had bad allergies for the past two years, and last year I finally went to an sinus doctor (otolaryngologist). He prescribed Flonase and sSngulair. The Flonase dried my nose out too much, but it did work. This year I went for my follow up appointment and told him about it. I also said that I had just started using a Neti Pot. He was supportive and told me to discontinue the Flonase but continue the Neti Pot and singulair and see how it works. I recently added Zyrtec to the mix and I have been great. So, I take the Singulair and Zyrtec at night, then do the Neti pot in the morning.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,391
    I don't have asthma at all. I was prescribed Singulair this year, because of the amount of breakthrough allergy symptoms I was still getting.

    There is of course no way to tell for sure without being tested (I was) if you have asthma or not, but the OP's symptoms sound identical to mine. I get a nasty hacking cough from a lot of post nasal drip.
    Last edited by Eden; 06-12-2008 at 08:03 AM.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southeast Idaho
    Posts
    1,145
    You can take 1/2 of a Claritin if it dries you out too much. Singular works on both allergies and asthma and is a great option. Any allergy medication with a "D" after it contains a decongestant, which I'd steer clear from.
    Last edited by Flybye; 06-12-2008 at 09:04 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    350
    THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. I went to whole foods invested in a neti-pot. Bought a saline nasal spray. It works just as well as the over the counter stuff, and I don't have to wait 12 hours. I called my doc who will schedule me for an allergy test, etc. I feel better already. Thanks for the support.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,409
    The nasal saline rinse (Neti-pot type setup but a different brand Ayre with a squeeze bottle) changed my life.
    I used to wake up in the middle of the night with gummy clogging in my sinuses and could not sleep or breathe well when it happened. I would have to just get up and suffer through it.
    My neti rinse every morning is so soothing and really clears my head and sinuses and feels wonderful. It is natural and easy. Makes all the difference in the world for me. Now it's a daily or every other day simple routine just like brushing my teeth. No more icky clogged mucus sinus gunk for me!
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
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