Health Health & Fitness

Exercise induced rhinitis (but without the exercise part)

Written by Louise

No, really. It will make sense in a bit.

On Monday afternoon, as mentioned in my extremely brief daily update, my hairdresser came to my house to cut my hair. I keep it very short, so she cuts it every 4 weeks, and I look forward to seeing her because we have a good chat about all kinds of things.

I should probably add at this point that I’m not a very social person. I can be social, and I enjoy spending time with people I can really relate to, but I don’t enjoy socialising just for the sake of it. Most of my social life takes place on FaceBook, where I can pick and choose who I talk to without offending anyone. Spending a whole hour and a half talking to someone is something I don’t do all that often, and I do find it tiring.

She was here about an hour and a half by the time she’d made a huge fuss of Jimmy and Rufus (and Jimmy had careered around so madly that he had a sore leg later in the evening – he recovered overnight) and then cut my hair. As she was leaving, I joked that I’d be worn out from all the talking, and I’d probably need an early night.

That was at about 5:30. A couple of hours later I noticed my allergies were playing up a bit (which isn’t odd; they’d been playing up for a few days) so I took antihistamines and thought nothing more of it. While I was getting dinner, I realised I was feeling a bit dizzy and ‘odd,’ and decided I’d better sit down and eat quickly! I’d barely finished dinner when the non-exercise induced rhinitis hit full force, and I couldn’t get the tissues out of their box fast enough.

That was when I decided an early night was required. I usually struggle to make it into bed before midnight. On Monday, I was asleep shortly after 10pm.

It wasn’t until the next day that I made the link. The reaction started within the window for exercise induced rhinitis (1 to 5 hours after finishing exercise), and it was exactly the kind of reaction I’m familiar with – violent, and totally resistant to antihistamines. I’m still not convinced that it’s triggered by allergies, and I only had my hair cut on Monday – I stopped colouring it back in the spring – so there wasn’t anything to cause an allergic reaction. On the other hand, my body could totally have treated the ‘stress’ of doing an unfamiliar activity in the same way as it treats exercise.

It’s more evidence, if I needed it after last week’s period, that I’m more ill than I think I am, and it’s only the progressive adaptations I made to compensate for my gradually increasing fatigue that allowed it to stay hidden for so long.

(Photo: very short, just-cut hair. It’s from back in the summer because I currently have a huge zit in the middle of my forehead – thanks, period – and I’m not taking a photo of that.)

About the author


Animal lover, asexual, blogger, cyclist, daughter, dreamer, entrepreneur, expat, optimist, procrastinator, reader, realist, rescuer, runner, sister, writer ... Hate labels? Me too. Just read my blog.

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