We are all aware of the health benefits of exercise. Even though you might be tempted to jog right now, you might actually be dealing with a condition that isn’t well-known. Exercise-induced rhinitis is the name of this relatively uncommon condition. When engaging in vigorous exercise, it can manifest as an ongoing runny nose, known medically as “rhinorrhea” (you’re welcome), but there are other symptoms that can be seen.
What Is Exercise-Induced Rhinitis?
Symptoms And Prevalence
Exercise-induced rhinitis is, as the name implies, nasal congestion brought on by physical exertion. Sneezing, nasal inflammation, a blocked nose, itching, and a runny nose are additional common signs of exercise-induced rhinitis. Not all of these symptoms occur during every exercise session, and there are undoubtedly many patients who blame their symptoms on their surroundings (such as dusty air, allergens in the gym, cold weather, etc.).
While for some individuals this may be the true cause of rhinitis, athletes who follow rigorous exercise regimens have a higher prevalence of rhinitis than non-athletes. In a 2010 study, exercise-induced rhinitis was found to affect 21% and 23%, respectively, of swimmers and runners.
Furthermore, certain sports seem more likely to trigger rhinitis than others; these include swimming where chloramines can be the cause of irritation and winter sports where exposure to cold and dry air can cause rhinitis
Exercise-induced rhinitis can cause effects that are more serious than just a need for a lot of tissues, in addition to being plain annoying. These include the inability to reach fitness peak levels, poorer sleep quality, and decreased focus. This could result in a disadvantageous situation for elite athletes who must perform at their highest level. Additionally, this could prevent maintaining a healthy lifestyle by interfering with regular exercise routines for regular people who want the benefits of exercise.
Causes Of Exercise-Induced Rhinitis
Research on exercise-induced rhinitis has not been heavily concentrated, possibly because it only affects a small percentage of people who engage in vigorous exercise. Damage to the nasal passage’s epithelial layer, the layer of skin that lines the inside of the nose, is one of several potential causes, though.
The increased air movement that occurs during exercise exacerbates this condition, which is brought on by water loss from the airway surfaces. Environmental irritants also have an impact; for example, swimmers may be exposed to known irritants like nitrogen trichloride.
Rhinitis can still occur indoors, despite the fact that some cases of exercise-induced rhinitis can be attributed to environmental irritants (such as dust or pollen). It can also have an impact on people without nasal allergies as well. However, exercise-induced rhinitis is more frequently reported by people who already have allergies.
How To Get Rid Of Exercise-Induced Rhinitis
Exercise-induced rhinitis cannot currently be treated, but it can be avoided by staying away from sports that could trigger it. But if someone has put a lot of time, money, or effort into a sport, you can’t just ask them to stop playing it.
Ensuring A Clean Environment
Therefore, avoiding exercising in polluted or irritating environments is a more practical strategy; for example, running indoors at a gym rather than in dusty outdoor environments will lessen the symptoms of exercise-induced rhinitis, according to the author’s personal experience.
Alternately, using a nasal clip while swimming to prevent inhaling chlorine byproducts through the nose could be helpful. Other alternatives to swimming in chlorinated pools include the ocean or lakes.
Additionally, taking medication to lessen the symptoms is an option. Leukotriene receptor antagonists, which are used to treat asthma, nasal corticosteroids, which are also used to treat asthma and nasal allergies and have anti-inflammatory effects, and decongestants, which should only be used in moderation because prolonged use may raise blood pressure and heart rate and reduce the effectiveness of the treatment.
Living With Exercise Induced Rhinitis
Major public health initiatives like the UK’s “This Girl Can” and Australia’s “Measure Up” has made it known to the majority of us that exercise is crucial to maintaining good health. Regular, vigorous exercise lowers the risk of coronary heart disease and helps to prevent Type II diabetes, osteoporosis, and hypertension.
By reducing the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and panic disorder, exercise has psychological advantages as well. Along with psychological therapy and medication, including running in daily routines can actually be a form of therapy. To benefit from the advantages of regular exercise, however, those who experience exercise-induced rhinitis must overcome more than just laziness.
Some of us might just need to stay away from exercising in the cold and swimming in chlorinated pools until more research on this condition is available, it seems. Fortunately, nasal decongestant sprays sold over the counter can offer quick relief, and prescription medications are available for severe rhinitis.
Rhinitis, a common medical condition that can cause runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, or itchy nose, can be brought on by exercise. Allergens in the environment cause allergic rhinitis. In the workplace or in your environment, there may be substances that irritate your nasal passages without actually causing allergies, which can lead to nonallergic rhinitis.
Your emotions may also trigger non-allergic rhinitis. Vasomotor rhinitis is the diagnosis if all other types of rhinitis have been ruled out by the doctor. Creams or different kinds of nasal sprays are used by doctors to treat rhinitis.
In any case, remember to carry tissues with you—you’ll probably need them the next time your nose starts to run while you’re doing something!