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How do allergies affect exercise and athletic performance?

Manan Shah, MD, ENT

Wyndly co-founder & Chief Medical Officer. Dedicated to personalizing care and making allergies a thing of the past.

Updated on Sep 22, 2021

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This article is a transcript

 

There's three ways that allergies can affect your athletic performance. The first is obvious if your nose is filled with snot and it's narrowed, you're not gonna be able to breathe through it. And I've seen this with my patients who are marathon runners, who feel like it affects their time. I've seen this with my weekend warriors who just want to be able to get through a soccer game without having to stop, to blow their nose.

 


And a bunch of my friends are obsessed with Peloton and they feel like it affects their ability to get to the front of the pack because they have to keep blowing their nose and they can't perform. The second way, is that it affects your ability to recover because if your nose is stuffy every night, you're not going to sleep well because we sleep better when we breathe through our nose.

 


And so this also affects your ability to recover after your performance. And the third thing is chronic allergies can lead to increases in sinus infections as well as asthma attacks. And obviously these will affect your ability to perform as well. So if you're someone who's trying to increase your athletic performance and you feel like your allergies are holding you back, you may want to try some of the over-the-counter medications or even the prescription medications or immunotherapy. Thanks.

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