Allergies

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .
Share

Yesterday I was out in the country and saw something that I’d never witnessed before. I was going by fields of grass and they looked like they were on fire. Or maybe a better description would be that it looked like plumes of dust, like when someone drives by on a gravel road, were coming out of individual spots in the grass fields.

The plumes had to have been pollen from the grasses. I have to admit that the grass is very tall this year, but I’ve lived here most of my life and had never seen this occurrence before. I was with my friend Vincent, he grew up in Topeka too, and he’s never seen it. Vincent went over to the ditch and pulled up a chunk of grass and shook it pretty good, but nothing dust-like came off. It was really weird.

Anyway, I’ve been super stuffed up the past week. Most of the time I get sick this time of the year, it starts out feeling like I’m really stuffy because of allergies. If I can keep the dripping out of my lungs, then I do okay. If not, it lates for a while. I’m doing pretty good with that this time so far. But, it can switch on a dime.

I am allergic, to the maximum, to two different types of local grass, Timothy and Johnson. I have no idea what either of these grasses look like. I thought I would have a allergic reaction if I came in contact with the grass. I didn’t really know that these grasses produce pollen that gets airborne. That isn’t good.

I think that there is something weird going on with allergies nowadays. It seems like on the evening rides, everyone is having nearly the same problems. Some people that have never had any allergies say that they have them now. It has to be an environmental thing. Kind of worrisome.

It's kind of hard to see from these photos, but if you enlarge them you can see the pollen.

It’s kind of hard to see from these photos, but if you enlarge them you can see the pollen.

It was weird, I'd been watching a field and these little plums of pollen would just pop out of nowhere all over.

It was weird, I’d been watching a field and these little plums of pollen would just pop out of nowhere all over.

Allergy tests for grass and trees.

Allergy tests for grass and trees.

After looking at the comments about gnats, it got me wondering.  So, I did a Google search and there are lots of photos like this of blowing grass pollen.

After looking at the comments about gnats, it got me wondering. So, I did a Google search and there are lots of photos like this of blowing grass pollen.

18 thoughts on “Allergies

  1. Mark

    With advancing age your immune system doesn’t work as well – hence, your worsening issues with allergies. Some individuals are more sensitive than others. Exercise definitely helps. So can Vitamin D – if you aren’t taking supplemental Vitamin D daily you should – 1000-1400 units daily is good. Lastly, take an OTC antihistamine each day to try to stay ahead of pollen induced histamine release.

     
  2. Fergie

    We get the clouds of pollen in the air from the trees back here in the east, where EVERYTHING is covered in a pastel yellow. You get the same out in KS?..Can’t say I’ve ever seen the grass clouds though.

    I guess you’re going to have trouble attending any of the bigger UCI cross races this year if you’re allergic to Timothy Johnson 🙂

     
  3. Steve Wathke

    You sure it wasn’t bugs. I rode last night and there were tons of little flying bugs. I had to keep my mouth shut or I would surely have eaten hundreds of them!

     
  4. Blaine

    I live in Salina and I saw the same thing riding back into town from the East in the evening. The grass is very tall next to the road, a car passed by and clouds of pollen were being whooshed into the air. We’ve had enough rain that I knew it could not be dust. Weird indeed.

     
  5. chris

    I drink the blackest, oiliest, darkest, freshly roasted coffee I can find to limit histamines in the summer. It seems to work when not much else will. Vitamin D is good too.

     
  6. Eric

    I witnessed this in the tall grass next to the road while out on a recon ride in Emporia for the Dirty Kanza.

     
  7. Bryan

    I was riding out of Dover up Hwy 4 to Auburn road last night and witnessed the same thing in two different fields. I also though it was bizarre.

     
  8. Tommasini53

    with all the rain….that powder blowing off the grass and wheat could be mold spores

     
  9. Jeff Clawson

    I have struggled with worsening allergies the last couple of years, it got so bad in the spring of 2011 and again in 2012 that I was getting very dizzy (vertigo) and pretty much killed by results on the bike. I have found a regimen of Allegra D (Sudafed) and regular sinus rinse has helped the most. The nastiness seems to subside in the summer. These minor health issues as you age can make you nuts, fretting about your form.

     
  10. Jordan Mathes

    Hey Steve,
    This might provide some enlightenment. The article was shown to me when we were down in Iowa racing two weeks ago.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/magazine/say-hello-to-the-100-trillion-bacteria-that-make-up-your-microbiome.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

    >This is the take home point.<
    "Our resident microbes also appear to play a critical role in training and modulating our immune system, helping it to accurately distinguish between friend and foe and not go nuts on, well, nuts and all sorts of other potential allergens. Some researchers believe that the alarming increase in autoimmune diseases in the West may owe to a disruption in the ancient relationship between our bodies and their “old friends” — the microbial symbionts with whom we coevolved."

    I read almost everyday. Thanks for the dedicated posting!
    -JM

     
  11. Nate

    Allergy shots are worth it. I’m 44 and finally got fed up with my allergies last year. I’m about 9 months in and can already tell a huge difference between last Spring and this Spring — and supposedly this is “one of the worst” allergy season CO has seen. My 13-year old is miserable, so I’m going to get him started here soon, too.

     
  12. Plant Chomper

    Diet plays a role as well. I went on a totally plant-based diet last year and my seasonal allergies darn near came to a halt. Oak particularly used to stop me down. Now, I barely notice it. I’ve talked to other “vegans” who have similar experiences.

     
  13. Rich

    Restricting calories/protein can cause the immune system to take a hit. A light cold, as many top cyclists seem to walk around with combined with allergies could be a major problem…

     

Comments are closed.