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Allergies Health Center

10 Outdoor Adventures With Allergies

Avoid allergy symptoms at outdoor events.
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Challenge #3: Sporting Events

The problem: The biggest problem allergen will depend partly on the season. At an evening football game in the fall, for instance, you probably will be exposed to a high level of weed pollen and mold spores from dying grass and decaying leaves.

Prevent by: Again, use over-the-counter or prescription medicines before your event.

Once there: If allergies kick up, try the saline nose spray. If that doesn't work, avoidance is best.

Challenge #4: Car Racetrack

The problem: Auto racing draws legions of fans, but once at the track, car exhaust can be a problem for people with allergies. Exhaust is not an allergen, but it can irritate and be a big bother for people with allergies.

Prevent by: Take allergy medicines before the event. But because the symptoms triggered by the exhaust are not a true allergic reaction, an over-the-counter decongestant may help relieve symptoms better than an antihistamine. Be sure to also take a bottle of saline nose spray.

Once there: Use the nose spray to help pollen and exhaust-related problems.

Challenge #5: Horseback Riding

The problem: If you're at the local stables, or riding horses on vacation, three key allergens may affect you. There's pollen (from nearby trees, grasses, and weeds), the hay, and the horse dander.

Prevent by: Two hours before you go, take an over-the-counter antihistamine that won’t make you drowsy. Or if you have a prescription antihistamine or steroid nasal spray, use that. The prescription steroid nasal spray can take a week or two to produce its full effect.

Before you leave, wash your hands thoroughly.

Once there: Don't pet the horses, then touch your face. That could set off allergic symptoms. What if you get an allergy attack anyway? Use your antihistamine. And if that doesn’t work, leave the stables.

Challenge #6: Hiking

The problem: Pollens from grasses, weeds, and trees may bother you along the trails. Check the pollen count before you go. With the Internet now, links to local pollen counts are common.

Just notice if the count is low, medium, or high. If they're expecting a high pollen count, that's not the best day for you to go on an outdoor adventure.

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