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Allergies and XC?

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  • Allergies and XC?

    TWICE now when I've finished XC I have had a major allergy attack.

    I'm allergic to a lot of things: mold, pollen, dust....but I think it's the latter that's getting me, because the two places I've had these were Las Cruces, NM and Tyler, TX, and I think dust is the only thing they share!!

    I take allegra D daily for my allergies, and they are under control...except after a big XC ride.

    Immediately after XC, I can't stop sneezing, my head feels like it's swelling to twice its normal size, then my nose becomes a faucet..literally, it will NOT stop...and it stays that way for about three days. I feel like I'm walking in a watery fog.

    My SO suggested I wear a mask XC, but I'm not sure that's ok to do.

    Does anyone have any knowledge/suggestions? I LOVE eventing, but this is killing me!
    --Becky in TX
    Clinic Blogs and Rolex Blogs
    She who throws dirt is losing ground.

  • #2
    You could dig in and try to find out if the exertion is a trigger (although that more commonly manifests as wheezing/asthmatic stuff) or you could try allergy shots, or (check with your doctor, blah blah) you could keep it very simple and just take some benadryl by mouth a half hour before XC. Makes me a little sleepy, but not so much if I'm up and around already doing stuff, and not so sleepy that I can't function. Heck, maybe it would take the edge off the XC nerves!
    Click here before you buy.


    • #3
      Since benadryl puts me into a coma, I take Claritin for my allergy to the entire state of SC (not kidding). That's the only way I survive my trips to Camden or Aiken! Claritin works just as well for my issues as benadryl, but I'm actually awake to enjoy the fact that I'm not scratching my skin off with a wire brush.

      I agree, though, about talking with the doc. There might be something better to try, especially considering you are already on a daily medication.


      • #4
        been there!

        Of all the different anti-histamines I have tried, benedryl still seems to work the best for me.

        Even if I am not having problems, I will take it before I start competing. It lasts about four hours per pill, so I will take it about an hour before my xc ride so it reaches it's full peak when riding and after wards. I will also take a pill the night before I go to bed because not only will I sleep like a log it gest me ahead of the game with getting some anitihistamines in my body before I have a reaction.

        HOWEVER, my doctor has just pointed me in a new direction; XYCAL, since all the other non-drowsy antihistamines give me intenstinal problems. It is the only one that is any close to benedryl without the sleepiness!

        I do this because I have allergy related asthma for years. I have found that this really prevents problems.

        Good luck!
        I love my OTTB! I get my dressage test done faster!


        • #5
          Yikes Becky! That really stinks!

          I have very very bad allergies as well.

          I had the heavy duty allergy testing done a few years back. (injections covering both arms)
          I'm pretty much allergic to life.

          I receive allergy injections every week.

          But I also use two nose sprays. I wonder if those would help you since the bulk of your allergies affect your nosey nose?

          I use Patanase (which is a nasal form of claritin or allegra)

          And one of the steroid nose sprays. I bet a steroid spray would help you a TON!

          I also use 4 way spray (Afrin) every night which is very very bad.
          Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


          • #6
            I also would think one of the steroid nasal sprays may help.

            You can also just try using some of the saline sprays/washes right after xc (ones where it's more of a fine mist so it's easier to do on the road, IMO) to see if that helps wash away the offenders and work to clear you back up faster.


            • #7
              Totally feel your pain! I have had terrible allergies since i was young no matter what state i'm in...i use veramist (nasal spray) and alavert and those seem to help out a bunch. The steroid nasal spray is what helps me the most, good luck!


              • #8
                Try using a nasal rinse before you go XC. I use NeilMed. It might clear out all the junk, and when you are finished XC there won't be as much build up. It will make your nose run for awhile, so you might want to do it an hour or so before your warm up.

                (BTW: My allergist says that using a nasal rise is JUST as effective as antibiotics when you have a sinus infection).
                Hillside Haven Farm
                From starting gate to start box!


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks, everyone! I'll definitely check w/ the doc, and see if we can't figure it out. Glad to know that I am not alone in my pain! :-)
                  --Becky in TX
                  Clinic Blogs and Rolex Blogs
                  She who throws dirt is losing ground.


                  • #10
                    Just reiterating what everyone else said, but I have had a great response to allergy shots. I used to take Singulair, Claritin, Qvar, and Nasonex every day. Now I am down to just the Nasonex (another steroid nasal spray).

                    Good luck!


                    • #11
                      Just an emphasis: steroid nasal sprays cannot be used simply "as needed" because they're ineffective that way. You need to use them every day. Which is why they may not be great for someone with truly infrequent and situational symptoms, because 95% of the time you're then using more than you need.
                      Click here before you buy.


                      • #12
                        My husband has had good results with Nasonex.

                        I have sports related asthma, so keep an inhaler handy. It seems to happen on hot, humid days or if I get upset about something. Xopenex is the name of the inhaler that I use. It can be used "as needed", instead of all of the time.
                        When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!