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Riding with allergies

This topic contains 21 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  StuInMcCandless 1 yr, 6 mos.

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mr marvelous

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May 20 2013 at 4:34am #

I have been suffering this year on my bike with allergies, blurry vision, runny nose, and watery eyes. Any suggestions on dealing with this? Am I alone? My blurry vision is the worst part of this, at one point my eyes were watering so badly I had to walk my bike several blocks to work because I could not safely see traffic.


stefb

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May 20 2013 at 4:49am #

Use over the counter allergy medicine. I use the up&up brand of “all day allergy relief”.


JustRay

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May 20 2013 at 5:26am #

What Stefb sez.
Find a good 24-hour relief allergy pill. Breathe right strips will help you wake up clearer. Advil Cold and Sinus will help your regular allergy pill on crazy awful days (especially hot and humid days)

And yes, allergies are real, and they make everything you like suck.


StuInMcCandless

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May 20 2013 at 5:50am #

Any store brand 25 mg diphenhydramine pill does the job for me for six hours. Yeah, springtime is hell.


Benzo

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May 20 2013 at 6:46am #

25mg diphenhydramine (also branded as ‘Benadryl’) is also the same thing that is in OTC sleep aids (‘Unisom’, ‘Sominex’), I can’t take it or I’m a zombie all day.

A 10mg Loratadine (also branded as ‘Claritin’) cuts my symptoms down a bit. Sometimes I take 1 and 1/2 pills on really bad days.

Also, I always use high coverage clear goggles to keep extra pollen out of my eyes (and stop those damn bugs on the river trails). This is a big comfort factor for me.

Also, My hippie solutions are to eat some local honey and drink raw milk. People say that those can cut down on allergic response. I’m not sure of their efficacy though. YMMV.


stefb

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May 20 2013 at 6:54am #

The active ingredient in the stuff I take is cetirizine HCl 10mg. That is generic Zyrtec. Personally, I have found that it works better for me after years of using Allegra then Claritin. Everyone is different. If I took Benadryl, I would be a spazzy mess. That stuff does NOT put me to sleep.


Benzo

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May 20 2013 at 6:54am #

Also, I run a 20x20in box fan with a 20x20in furnace filter taped on to the back. I like the ones that are FPR 7 (Filter Performance Rating) or better (3M Ultra Allergen Filtrete is about $20), but the cheaper ones still make a big difference.

It pulls out a lot of the dust and pollen so that when I’m sleeping, I’m breathing cleaner air. I tend to feel better when I wake up when I sleep with the fan filtering the air.


pinky

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May 20 2013 at 6:59am #

If you find a 24-hour pill that gives you side effects like drowsiness, one trick is to take it before bed. By the time you wake up, usually the worst of the side effects have worn off. That’s how I take my generic Zyrtec.

And the Benedryl type stuff? I use it as a sleep aid.


Benzo

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May 20 2013 at 6:59am #

stefb wrote:Everyone is different.

+1, this is truth. Gotta find which one works for your symptoms after some trial and error.


Swalfoort

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May 20 2013 at 7:17am #

I see I have kin here…..

I take claritin if I feel symptoms coming on, or if I anticipate being in an environment where they might be induced. Works like magic for me. It’s the only thing that lets me stay with family members with large dogs, play with the neighbor’s cat, etc.

But, I know a lot of people for which claritin (or generic loratidin) does NOT work. My niece finds that Zytrec works for her, where claritin and allegra do not. My sister responds better to 24 hour claritin, I prefer the 12 hour.

Benedryl dries out my sinuses AND puts me to sleep. Non-drowsy versions of comparable “cold and sinus” medicines make me jittery.

Bottom line….borrow a sample or two of a variety of allergy medicines (claritin, allegra, zyrtec, etc) from your friends and try each one for a day or two. You’ll know which ones work, and which ones have side effects you don’t like. And, since they are all over the counter, there’s no real concern over “sharing” meds. But, it’s a lot cheaper than buying small packets of each.

I bet you’ll find one that works for you.


Drewbacca

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May 20 2013 at 10:26am #

stefb wrote:The active ingredient in the stuff I take is cetirizine HCl 10mg. That is generic Zyrtec. Personally, I have found that it works better for me after years of using Allegra then Claritin. Everyone is different. If I took Benadryl, I would be a spazzy mess. That stuff does NOT put me to sleep.

Same here, Claritin has no effect and Zyrtec makes everything better… go figure.


gg

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May 20 2013 at 10:54am #

Are you sure it is an allergy? There is a bug going around that lasts for well over a week that is a really bad sinus issue. I have had it for a week and a half with no end in site. Really bad sore throat. Yesterday I thought I felt better and today I am worse than ever. Never been sick like this.


stefb

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May 20 2013 at 12:05pm #

I have that cold also and could tell a difference between the allergy symptoms I had for the past month and the cold I have had for the past week.


melange396

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May 20 2013 at 1:21pm #

i take a generic claritin and a generic zyrtec every morning. it seems to help because i really start feeling nasty when i forget to take them. if it gets really bad, i might take a sudafed (pseudoephedrine, which you have to sign for now, NOT phenylephrine which is a poor substitute)… it can make me a little tweaked-out, though

@benzo, i dig the idea of the filter fan — i will have to try it


regentgal

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May 20 2013 at 4:25pm #

I make my own Claritin-D from loratadine and sudafed. I found not all generics are equal. The Up & Up works like a champ for me, but Giant Eagle’s (when they had it) did nothing. So far, up & up loratidine with walgreen’s wal-phed is the cheapest and most effective for me.


benstiglitz

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May 20 2013 at 4:58pm #

My personal warning if you’re new to any medication: have someone with you the first 24h.

Zyrtec made me into an angry lunatic (known rare side effect) and I might’ve physically harmed someone if my wife hasn’t realized what was going on.


quizbot

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May 20 2013 at 11:37pm #

Nothing pisses me off more than allergy eyes while riding. More than annoying, it’s a legitimate safety hazard, particularly if you wear glasses and are constantly gooping the damn things up with eye snot. The wheezing and shortness of breath is bad enough, but not being able to see where you’re going is much worse.

Have tried several prescription eye drops over the last few years (latest was Bepreve, prescribed a few weeks ago), but no help.

Looked some eyeball allergy stuff up online and found Ketotifen drops, which are available OTC (Thera Tears, check the label for Ketotifen Fumarate) and they have made an IMMENSE difference for me. No more fighting constant streaming tears, or stopping on the side of the road randomly to de-crunk my glasses.

Seriously have not worried about my eyes while riding for the last 2 weeks. Hopefully it’s not a short term fix (which switching antihistamines often is).

For general allergy meds, I take either a generic zyrtec or claritin in the am, a prescription nasal spray steroid 2x per day (fluticasone propionate aka Flonase), and 25-50 mg benedryl at night. I’m also borderline asthmatic, and take a steroid inhaler in the am (Dulera) as well as albuterol as needed.

I had the allergy scratch test a few weeks ago (4th time since I was 10 or so) and am allergic to everything except mold and dogs. Will likely be starting with the shot routine since I’m kind of done with trying to manage my allergy response with ineffective OTC pills such as everything that’s been mentioned.


Pierce

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May 21 2013 at 6:34pm #

I feel like this thread gave me allergies

This morning I was sneezing while going downhill


melange396

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May 21 2013 at 10:40pm #

Pierce wrote:This morning I was sneezing while going downhill

maybe it was an allergy to the daystar


mr marvelous

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May 22 2013 at 9:48am #

Is it just me or does non drowsy medicine still makes you feel drowsy?


kooklie

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May 22 2013 at 11:05am #

Instead of taking pills and whatnot, try a filter mask. I use it when biking near diesel buses, construction trucks, or highways, but it might help to reduce allergies too. I actually had a persistant cough for about a year and it cleared up within a month of using this mask: http://totobobo.com/ (the one without the nose cover). good luck


StuInMcCandless

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May 22 2013 at 6:19pm #

FWIW, I’ve noticed that the problem is lessening all by itself, as it always does for me as we move from April to May to late May.

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