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high school runner, experiencing long-term allergy-like symptoms?

I'm a 15 year old female cross country & track runner living in northern virginia, and starting last track season/Spring I've been having problems with my "allergies."  
Last Spring, I began to experience allergy-like symptoms, such as runny nose and sneezing, though mostly runny nose.  When I walk around usually I have a slightly runny nose and I need to blow my nose every now and then, or spit up the snot because it goes to my throat, but when I run the runny nose amplifies and I often need to spit or wipe my nose, which is kinda nasty and not good for my running.  most of the time the mucus is clear, but at times it's colored.
These symptoms lasted well throughout Spring and my track season.  At one race though, Idk why but I cried (I caught a cold bc I didn't feel cold but I guess I was)  and when I ran my warm up I felt better, but then in the race, by the first lap my throat was constricted and I could barely keep a pace well below my usual.  I thought the crying is what killed that race.
Once again, the symptoms continued throughout the summer and well into fall, with the same not-so-serious-runny-nose while simply walking around and amplified symptoms when running.  I once again blamed my runny nose on the pollen.  I experienced a runny nose throughout the season. Then at Districts, at the start of the race I was keeping good pace, but after the first mile I felt like my throat was constricted and I couldn't take deep breaths.  I feel well behind my usual running partners and I ended up with my worse race time of the season. When I finished, I tried to take a deep breath, but I remember my chest would tighten up and I just couldn't take deep breaths.  Eventually I could take deep breaths again but that day really bothered me.  
I am still experiencing these symptoms now, please help me resolve this! I don't know what is happening.  
I've tried tea and a humidifier, they lessen the symptoms
1 Responses
242587 tn?1355424110
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
I am sorry to hear of the dreadful symptoms you have experienced this past year.  What you describe strongly suggests that you may have asthma, likely to  be triggered at least some of the time by your allergies.  Another consideration that can mimic asthma is a condition with which there is a malfunction of the vocal cords, called Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD), that causes the vocal cords to close inappropriately mostly with inspiration but not rarely, also with exhalation.  If the tightness occurs primarily with inhalation, consideration should be given to the diagnosis of VCD.

It will be very important for you to get this problem sorted out as the treatment, for these two conditions, is very different.

The lungs, of some people with asthma, tighten-up only, or primarily, with exercise.  I mention this because a breathing test, done with you at rest in the quiet of a doctor’s office, may not show the obstruction to airflow in your lungs associated with asthma.  You may have to have a breathing test following exercise to demonstrate what is going on.  You may want to discuss this response with your doctor or with a lung specialist (Pulmonologist) should you or your doctor ask for a second opinion.

Your problem is not unique.  I have known Olympic Athletes who have had symptoms like yours for quite some time before the correct diagnosis was made.

Good luck
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