Allergies (updated 06/05)
A lot of folks are afflicted with breathing problems when attempting to enjoy outdoor sports / events (such as me). This definitely makes being outdoors not-so-fun and in some cases causes complete avoidance of outdoor experiences. (if you just want to cut to the punch, scroll to the bottom of the article, but the reading is very educational)
PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH ALLERGIES:
*In all age groups, it is among the top three most expensive health problems in terms of medications and doctor fees.
*Allergies have been known to cause mental depression, irritability, fatigue and loss of appetite.
*30% of individuals with untreated allergic rhinitis will develop bronchial asthma.
*Asthma is the single most important source of severe illness and death arising from disease associated with allergy.
CAUSE OF ALLERGIES:
Allergic reactions to dust, molds, pollens, animal dander and other allergens present in the environment are widespread, tending to gradually become chronic. The nasal congestion blocks drainage from the sinus cavities, leading to acute and chronic sinusitis. Chronic allergies are associated with bronchial asthma in up to 33% of patients. This is a serious medical condition that can be fatal in some cases.
If your a cyclist and you experience problems breathing, it's likely you have tried some type of antihistamine. But unfortunately these generally have side affects such as drowsiness, and even light-headedness. What many people don't know is that antihistamines have been clinically shown to reduce alertness and clear-thinking, and damage short-term memory and the ability to learn. And of course, it's not a good idea to take any drug (such as antihistamines) on a continuous daily basis.
When I moved to Florida almost twenty years ago, my breathing passages clogged up and stayed that way. Somehow I didn't notice at the time, it must have been gradual. Ten years later I was VERY conscious of the fact I couldn't breath through my nose. I always had this feeling of choking because of buildup in my throat. It was affecting every aspect of my life (kissing is tough when you can't breath through your nose).
So I started trying antihistamines and other allergy drugs. Most of them did a lot of good! However, because of my physical makeup, most of them totally threw me for a loop. Light-headedness, dizziness, loss of motor functions, loss of mental accuity, the list goes on. I couldn't take allergy medicine.
A few years later I was doing some computer work for a chemist. This man owned and operated his own business of creating 'made-to-order' prescriptions for local doctors, hospitals etc. He noted my breathing problems and started asking questions. I found out that most allergy / cold medicines are 'broad-spectrum', filled with many different drugs to cover a number of different symptoms, and multiple drugs for each symptom because different things work for different people. Allergy medicines are chock full of some pretty tough stuff. He said that what I needed was to isolate the specific problem I have and he can mix an allergy medicine just for my problem, and drastically reduce side affects. By the time I finished the work on his computer he had mixed up a medicine with only two things in it, a drug specific to what he felt my problem was, and chocolate flavoring. :) It worked like a dream! Only problem is, he told me I couldn't use it all the time because it would lose it's affect. He was right about that as well. A learned to live with my breathing problems.
Another few years later, the Internet gave me access to information all over the world. I did research on my breathing and found several ways to combat it. They were: 1) clean the air ducts in the apartment and use high quality filters, 2) use anti-bacterial cleaners on all surfaces including on the carpet and vacuum often, 3) use special pillow covers that stopped dust mites from getting in, 4) acquire a quality air cleaner. These DID improve my breathing problems quite a bit. But not enough to be normal.
I continued my research. Another few years later, science and medicine was leaping ahead at break-neck pace. I started my research over but based it on natural herbal remedies. I found a few and tried them all. I ended up with the product I use now. I started using it in the middle of pollen season and even then it helped greatly! After three months of use my breathing system is almost completely normal!
Here's the deal. Allergy symptoms are cumulative. Gone untreated they get worse, possibly resulting in severe, debilitating problems, even death. I knew I must solve this problem or leave Florida (I don't think my wife and step kids would agree to go). What I have finally come up with works great and isn't expensive and has no side affects of any kind. This is where I used to recommend Allergy MD. However, Allergy MD is no longer available. I have placed several calls and numerous e-mails to the manufacturer with no response. When I was still using allergy medicines, I found that a new product marketed first under the trade name Claritin D works extremely well. (This is back when I still needed an allergy medicine. For more information see the new article Allergies Defeated!) Combined with an air cleaner based on new technologies I am breathing better than ever and enjoy my outdoor time (especially mountain biking) a lot more.
Go OUT and ENJOY it!
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