Disclosure: I have received promotional consideration from MinuteClinic. All opinions are my own.
Spring is my big race season. While this year has been particularly crazy, I often have a race multiple weekends a month in the spring. Spring is also allergy season around here and, like many people, I have allergies. Virginia is a really awful state for allergies – I didn’t realize how bad mine were until I went to college here and I’ve had friends tell me that they never had allergies until they moved here.
But I can’t let my allergies get in the way of my running. I have goalz, you know.
I have your typical allergy symptoms: itchy eyes and runny nose, but on particularly bad days, I also have some issues with my breathing. Not enough to feel the need to take any drastic steps like an inhaler or get allergy shots, but enough to mess with my running, so I have to stay on top of things.
I can always tell when I have allergies because of the itchy eyes (and oh, my goodness, the itching inside my ears!), but if you are wondering whether you have a cold or allergies, here are some differences:
- If you start sniffling and coughing at the same time each year and your symptoms come on suddenly, it may be allergies.
- If you have a cough, it’s probably a cold. Most people with a cold will have a cough, but not everyonewith allergies has this symptom.
- If you’re aching all over, it’s probably a cold, not allergies. Aches and pains are not symptoms of allergies.
- Itchy eyes are a common symptom of allergies but RARELY occur with the common cold!
- If you have a fever, it’s not allergies! A fever is sometimes present with a cold, but will never occurwith allergies.
As you can tell from my race schedule, I haven’t let my allergies get in my way this year. I’ve been able to manage them quite well, mostly because I have a medication plan that works for me. (So far, the plan that has taken us several years to perfect, is working great for Jones as well.) Different allergy medicines and protocols work for different people, so I highly recommend speaking with your doctor or a professional at Minute Clinic to create a plan. In fact, you should probably do it BEFORE allergy season because some of the medicines need to be in your system before the allergies kick in.
Here are some additional tips for surviving this time of year…
- Wash your hair before bed.
- Change your pillowcase frequently. You should also change your sheets more often, but the fresh pillowcase means you aren’t sleeping in any pollen from previous nights.
- Keep your windows closed. This KILLS me every year to not be able to open my windows on the beautiful days, but not having the pollen in the house is worth it. (This is also why I prefer fall LOL.)
- Wear sunglasses when you run or anytime there’s a breeze. This keeps the pollen out of your eyes.
- Wash your hands regularly. No need to put pollen on your face or in your eyes when you come in from outside.
- When it’s really awful, hit the treadmill. I’ve been lucky so far that I haven’t had to resort to this often.
- If none of the above is working, visit your physician or MinuteClinic for the allergy relief you need. Perhaps a prescription allergy medicine is what you require.
I don’t love seasonal allergies, but I’ve learned to live with them. Do you suffer as well? Got any cool tips I could try? I still have one more race before we head north, where it will likely still be allergy season, sigh.
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Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and all suggestions are ones that work for me. Your mileage may vary. I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own.