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I’ve started several threads over the years about riding with allergies and specifically the frustration of dealing with sinus infections. Spring has historically been my worst season for it though I have trouble in the Fall too. Last Spring was my worst ever. I was on and off sick for 6 weeks and was placed on 3 prescriptions for antibiotics for sinus infections.

After that nightmare, I got checked by an allergist and found to be allergic to very little. He did run blood-work on me though and found I was low in several immune functions. He gave me vaccine boosters and retested me a month later and found that my levels were vastly improved. He predicted I’d have less problems in the future.

I also saw an ENT who said I’d be a candidate for the nasal surgery given my chronic problems and an abnormality that showed up in my nasal passages.

I did have some problems last Fall so wondered if those boosters did any good. I was seriously considering the surgery if I had a bad Spring. I’m happy to say that I’ve had my best season in years setting benchmarks for total miles as well as records for distance and average speed. Even on days when I didn’t feel at my best, I still pushed.

What was the difference? I for years have followed the maxim that you should be a little cold to start out a ride because your body heat will make up for it as the ride progresses. I’m convinced that riding in this fashion contributed to my problems in the past so I decided that I’d err on the side of being warmer this Spring. I by no means went too far to the other extreme but just made sure I was warmer. The results were that I only got sick once near the end of March. I don’t believe it was a coincidence that this ride was one in which a weather front came through earlier than forecast and the temperature dropped suddenly about halfway through my ride. I got chilled and sure enough, fell sick two days later and was off the bike for a week.

April and May have always been my worst months and I passed through without a problem despite very high pollen levels. I continued using Allegra as I’ve always done.

So to what do I attribute my good health? It could possibly be the immune boosters from last year but I’m more inclined to think that not allowing my body to get chilled really served to keep me from sinus problems. I know that there are many cyclists that have ongoing sinus problems so this may be worth a shot. Surgery was a last resort and I’m so relieved to have possibly found an answer at long last. Forced time off the bike is very unpleasant.

It will be interesting to see if this was just a fortunate aberration from my sinus woes. I know this could be just coincidence and future seasons allowing for a larger sample size will shed more light on it.
 

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but I’m more inclined to think that not allowing my body to get chilled really served to keep me from sinus problems.
I have difficulty understanding how a few chilly minutes before you get warmed up by riding could affect your health in any way what-so-ever.

Not sure why you would discount the affect of the vaccine boosters which were prescribed by a doctor for that very purpose.

Your "increased sample size" will be meaningless since the boosters are now in your system. There is no way to separate the affect of the boosters versus your new system of dress.
 

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My immunologist wife is at least as skeptical as dir-t.
 

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My immunologist wife is at least as skeptical as dir-t.
I have difficulty understanding how a few chilly minutes before you get warmed up by riding could affect your health in any way what-so-ever.
Not sure why you would discount the affect of the vaccine boosters which were prescribed by a doctor for that very purpose.

Your "increased sample size" will be meaningless since the boosters are now in your system. There is no way to separate the affect of the boosters versus your new system of dress.
Yes and yes. There are legions of potentially intervening variables... Random chance may well be as good an explanation. Hard to ignore a science based intervention? I'm really glad you are doing better! And I understand grasping at straws when your health is messing with you.... Immune diseases are much more common in women but are far from unheard of in men, see Nick Cannon. You might want to consider that...
 

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It will be interesting to see if this was just a fortunate aberration from my sinus woes. I know this could be just coincidence and future seasons allowing for a larger sample size will shed more light on it.
I am glad you found something that's working for you. That being said, I don't think it has anything to do with your temperature. I would credit the immune boosters for that.
 

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First to the OP glad you are doing well and enjoying the riding.

I am a bit perplexed; I was always under the impression that allergies were due to an overractive immune system, seems that boosting the immune system is a bit counter intuitive. Maybe I am completely off base, IDK
 

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Good information, and I am glad to hear that you had a lot less problems this year.

I have very bad sinus problems with a history of sinus infections. One of my long term problems was taking too many antibiotics and getting a bowel infection, this redefines miserable.

Many years ago (like over 25) I started rinsing my sinus with an water pic adapter with water and a tablespoon of salt. My ENT recommended using a Neilmed (Sinus Rinse?) bottle with a table spoon of salt and 2-3 drops of baby shampoo. Neilmed tries to get you to use their packaged mix, which is basically salt and regular salt works just as good, or I think even better, plus it is a lot cheaper. This sounds gross but feels good and really helps keeping my sinuses clean and I only had one cold this winter and no colds the last 3 or 4 winters. If I start to feel like my sinus are getting clogged up, I rinse the 2 or 3 times a day, and this also helps a lot. For more information Google nasal biofilms and staph bacteria (2 separate searches).

Good luck,
Wayne
 

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I seem to get 1-2 sinus infections per year. Some start with a cold, some don't. Most linger about 2 months before resolving. Sometimes antibiotics make them go away earlier, sometimes not. Singulair is the only thing that seems to relieve symptoms of hacking post nasal drip cough, so I can breathe normally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have difficulty understanding how a few chilly minutes before you get warmed up by riding could affect your health in any way what-so-ever.

Not sure why you would discount the affect of the vaccine boosters which were prescribed by a doctor for that very purpose.

Your "increased sample size" will be meaningless since the boosters are now in your system. There is no way to separate the affect of the boosters versus your new system of dress.
I got two sinus infections last Fall after receiving the immune boosters. I made no special effort in the Fall to keep warmer while cycling.

I used the word "possibly".

"Affect" is the verb. "Effect" is the noun.



Yes and yes. There are legions of potentially intervening variables... Random chance may well be as good an explanation. Hard to ignore a science based intervention? I'm really glad you are doing better! And I understand grasping at straws when your health is messing with you.... Immune diseases are much more common in women but are far from unheard of in men, see Nick Cannon. You might want to consider that...
Thanks! I don't know if what I had would be classified as a disease. They were the IGG or IGA (something like that) markers in my blood that relate to immune function. My values zoomed up after receiving the vaccine boosters.

I am glad you found something that's working for you. That being said, I don't think it has anything to do with your temperature. I would credit the immune boosters for that.
Thank you. I got sick from a ride where I got chilled. On rides where I didn't, I never got sick. There is a potential correlation there.

Good information, and I am glad to hear that you had a lot less problems this year.

I have very bad sinus problems with a history of sinus infections. One of my long term problems was taking too many antibiotics and getting a bowel infection, this redefines miserable.

Many years ago (like over 25) I started rinsing my sinus with an water pic adapter with water and a tablespoon of salt. My ENT recommended using a Neilmed (Sinus Rinse?) bottle with a table spoon of salt and 2-3 drops of baby shampoo. Neilmed tries to get you to use their packaged mix, which is basically salt and regular salt works just as good, or I think even better, plus it is a lot cheaper. This sounds gross but feels good and really helps keeping my sinuses clean and I only had one cold this winter and no colds the last 3 or 4 winters. If I start to feel like my sinus are getting clogged up, I rinse the 2 or 3 times a day, and this also helps a lot. For more information Google nasal biofilms and staph bacteria (2 separate searches).

Good luck,
Wayne
Thanks. I hear you about antibiotics. I've been loathe to take so many.

I'm glad you've had success with the rinses. I used a netipot religiously starting in mid-August last year but still ended up getting two sinus infections in the Fall. I have not used one this Spring and have not gotten sick. It's possible that different things work better for certain people. The allergy doctor was actually against using netipots as he claimed it spread possible infection throughout the sinuses.

I seem to get 1-2 sinus infections per year. Some start with a cold, some don't. Most linger about 2 months before resolving. Sometimes antibiotics make them go away earlier, sometimes not. Singulair is the only thing that seems to relieve symptoms of hacking post nasal drip cough, so I can breathe normally.
One to two a year still sucks but I had a total of 5 last year. I guess I'd be okay with one or two compared to that. I've tried just about all the allergy meds including Singular but have still gotten the sinus infections.


I would just suggest for chronic sinus sufferers who have tried everything to get your blood values checked. I never said that I totally discounted the effect from having my immune function improved through the vaccine boosters.

Not allowing your body to get chilled should be tried if nothing else has worked. It can't hurt!
 

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One to two a year still sucks but I had a total of 5 last year. I guess I'd be okay with one or two compared to that. I've tried just about all the allergy meds including Singular but have still gotten the sinus infections.
Singulair doesn't prevent the infections. Rather it opens things up so I don't get the uncontrollable coughing due to post nasal drip while I have the infections.

Though considering what you go through, I shouldn't be complaining. I'm glad you found something that works.
 

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This OP's theory is plausible.

Here is why.

Your sinuses regulate the temperature and humidity of air going into the lungs. This is two of their three main jobs. The third is to filter out stuff from the air (stuff gets trapped in the snot and hairs).

If you keep going from cold/dry to hot/humid too fast, your sinuses have trouble adapting. They end up producing the wrong amount of mucus, or otherwise doing whatever it is that they do to control temperature and humidity.

Too fast might be: within an hour. Seasons change much slower. As seasonal temp increases, so does the humidity.

Another confounding factor may be humidity level in the home. For some of us, A/C keeps humidity in the home much lower than outside.

Cycling cold had the sinuses go from relatively dry and cold context to hot - and possibly hot and dry, if the air is dry.

Then, you complete ride, and cool down, but the sinuses are just getting geared up for the heat.

I used to have sinus problems in the summer when I worked, during high school, as a sacker at a local grocery store. In the old days, we took groceries out to your car half the time. -And half of those, we got tips!

The grocery store had to be hospitable, but outside it was gulf coast inhospitable.

Along with being in the store with decent A/C, I would be in the walk-in fridge area evey now and then - I was used as a back-up for dairy stocking and rotation.

If I did that, I really got the sniffles.
 

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Thanks! I don't know if what I had would be classified as a disease. They were the IGG or IGA (something like that) markers in my blood that relate to immune function. My values zoomed up after receiving the vaccine boosters.
With auto immune diseases, especially Lupus, anything that boosts immune function is contraindicated. The immune system is actually not working properly because it's over active. Not to say you might have Lupus... You'd never be able to stand the sun exposure in cycling...

I had had an office mate for a few years who had a similar pattern. She was a serious athlete, 3 year D1 starter at an elite softball school. She had her septum surgically fixed and her problem was fixed permanently. She put it off off for years and finally bit the bullet and it was life changing for her. I'm sure you've been there already and explored that....
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
With auto immune diseases, especially Lupus, anything that boosts immune function is contraindicated. The immune system is actually not working properly because it's over active. Not to say you might have Lupus... You'd never be able to stand the sun exposure in cycling...

I had had an office mate for a few years who had a similar pattern. She was a serious athlete, 3 year D1 starter at an elite softball school. She had her septum surgically fixed and her problem was fixed permanently. She put it off off for years and finally bit the bullet and it was life changing for her. I'm sure you've been there already and explored that....
I was fully ready to go the surgery route had this Spring been as bad as last year's. As I mentioned, I already had an ENT lined up ready to do the procedure. I've heard good and bad things about this surgery. Some, as with your example, came out with excellent results while others experienced no noticeable benefit. Hopefully, I won't have to find out for myself.

I've discussed my situation with my primary care physician. He was very impressed with the improvement in my blood markers. The allergist recommended more boosters in 5 years but I plan to get retested in 2 to see where I'm at. I'm also, of course, going to continue to dress warmer.
 

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I was fully ready to go the surgery route had this Spring been as bad as last year's. As I mentioned, I already had an ENT lined up ready to do the procedure. I've heard good and bad things about this surgery. Some, as with your example, came out with excellent results while others experienced no noticeable benefit. Hopefully, I won't have to find out for myself.
My ENT did not recommend surgery. He said in my case, there was a 50% chance of improvement. And the problem with surgery is scar tissue which presents its own problems.
 
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