I've started paying more attention to my breathing in the past few weeks and have noticed that when I go for a walk in the mornings or a run in the evening, I develop a runny nose that goes away shortly after I go back inside. It's not terrible, but is annoying and prevents me from breathing comfortably through my nose.
From a quick search, my symptoms match closely with exercise induced rhinitis (list of articles). Numerous studies have found that exercise induced rhinitis is usually caused by allergies. I have never had nasal allergies, but it's possible I've developed them or that they've always been mild enough that I haven't noticed.
I'd like to determine whether my symptoms are, in fact, being caused by allergies and, if so, if there's any simple interventions I can do to mitigate them.
Here's my plan:
Step 1: Test if the symptoms are caused by just being outside or only during exercise
- Go outside to the same location where I exercise and wait for 30 min. (same length as walks/runs).
- Record whether I develop a runny nose and its severity.
Step 2 Test if the symptoms are ameliorated by allergy medication
- Take fast-acting allergy medication or a placebo 1 hour before exercising.
- Record whether I develop a running nose and its severity.
- This experiment will be blinded by placing the pills inside of opaque gel caps and have another person randomize the treatment days for me.
- Run the experiment for 10 weekdays & 4 weekend days (exercise locations differ)
- If no effect is seen, repeat this experiment with long-acting (24h) allergy medication, but randomize by week instead of by day.
- Does this approach seem reasonable? Any other measurements/tests I should try?
- Does anyone else have this problem? If so, any recommendations for interventions to try?
Thanks in advance for your help!