Allergies, asthma and sport are not mutually exclusive. Today’s new approach is: "I have an allergy or asthma and I’m living with it. Both afflictions won’t run my life. I am in control."

Allergies, asthma, sport – not mutually exclusive

Research has shown that allergies such as hay fever, food allergies and asthma are no less frequent amongst active sports enthusiasts and competitive athletes than in the rest of the population. This tells us that allergies, asthma and sport are not mutually exclusive. In fact, allergies and asthma should not be considered as an obstacle to top performance. Such success is only possible, however, if those affected are well informed, recognise likely triggers (causes of their condition), accept appropriate treatment and take reasonable precautions.

 

Should asthma sufferers avoid sport?

No! With the right preparation, asthma sufferers can enjoy sport without any restrictions – even at the highest level.

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How hay fever may develop into asthma – or not

If, after several years, simple hay fever develops into asthma, this change from allergic rhinitis (runny nose) to allergic asthma is referred to as an "URT to LRT progression".

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Sport without discomfort

In addition to allergens (pollen, house dust mites etc.), irritants and additives (e.g. fragrances) as well as climactic factors can also bring on or exacerbate symptoms. In medicine, these factors are called "triggers". 

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Healthy body weight – fewer allergies?

Excess weight and obesity can increase the risk of allergies, asthma and neurodermatitis. Movement and regular sports activities generally have a positive effect on body weight and well-being. 

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Red skin blotches during sport – it could be urticaria (nettle rash)

Urticaria (nettle rash) is a reddening of the skin associated with itching and weals. It can be acute (transient) or chronic (persistent or recurrent).

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Editors: aha! Swiss Allergy Centre in co-operation with the Scientific Advisory Board.