Does a pollen allergy put a damper on running?

By: Ida Hadler Olsen, general practitioner at Volvat Majorstuen.

Here are the symptoms of pollen allergy and how to best treat it. 


If you start sneezing every spring or summer, get a stuffy / runny nose and / or red and irritated eyes, you most likely have a pollen allergy. In folklore, pollen allergy is called hay fever. This is a troublesome condition, but there is treatment. Allergy is an overreaction from the body's own immune system to agents / stimulations that are basically harmless. With pollen allergy, our immune system reacts to pollen that plants and trees release into the air. The amount of pollen in the air varies with the seasons, and in relation to where in the country you are. The different plants release their pollen for different periods in spring and summer. Therefore, we humans can experience pollen allergy at different times - all depending on the type of pollen you are allergic to above.



Pollen allergy often leads to sneezing, and runny, itchy and stuffy nose. Red, irritated eyes that itch and run are also common. Some people feel tired and unwell, others may experience coughing and / or itching in the throat and difficulty breathing. With pollen allergy, one can experience one, more or all of the above symptoms, and these occur with different intensity from person to person. This is because an immune response is individual.

Allergies you can have to other types of agents (mites, animal hair, various foods) often give much of the same symptoms as with pollen allergy. The only difference is that the pollen allergy occurs at the same time every year in the individual.

There are specific blood tests and examinations that can give us a "pointer" on what one is allergic to, but do not rule out. Often the patient himself also has an idea of what this may be.

In some people, allergies can trigger heavy breathing, coughing and / or wheezing in the breath. People who have asthma can get worse in the breath if they are also allergic. Others may in the opposite direction eventually be diagnosed with asthma because they have become heavy in the breath in connection with exposure to an allergen.

If you become abnormally heavy in the breath, cough and / or wheeze when inhaling and / or exhaling, you should be consulted by a doctor.

REMEMBER that allergy sufferers have approx. 40-50% increased risk of asthma development. Therefore, be sure to take a spirometry (measurement of breathing capacity) once a year.



It pays to be out early to prevent troublesome allergy symptoms. We therefore recommend that you start treatment a few weeks before your ailments experience show. If you are unsure of the type of treatment you need, this is something we can help you with. Sometimes a combination of different drugs is needed to get rid of the symptoms, and then it makes sense to get advice from a doctor.

There are several effective treatments for allergies.

Both eye drops and nasal spray can be bought without a prescription at the pharmacy, and this can be tried in the first instance if you have mild symptoms from the nose and / or eyes. You can also buy some tablets against allergies (antihistamines) without a prescription. These can have a good effect on your mild allergy problems - either alone or in combination with nasal sprays and / or eye drops.

If you experience that you get tired of the allergy tablets, you may want to take them in the evening. It is also a good idea to take a shower with hair wash before going to bed for the evening. This is to wash off all the flower dust that has settled in the hair, on the skin, in the eyebrows and eyelashes during the day. Sleep with the window closed on the worst days.

If your ailments are so severe that you need to use tablets for a long time, we recommend that you talk to a doctor about this. Then you may need other types of medication that your doctor will need to prescribe. If antihistamines in tablet form do not work well enough on their own, a nasal spray containing cortisone may be appropriate. Some will also need inhalation medication (asthma spray).

You must be allergic for at least three months during the year to get allergy medication on a blue prescription. Then the allergy must be detected either by allergy testing, and by reviewing symptoms and medical history with a doctor.

Allergy vaccination is a treatment alternative for long-term and severe allergies where one has not had a satisfactory benefit from traditional treatment. This is also called hyposensitization or specific immunotherapy. The principle is to reduce the allergic reaction by stimulating the body's immune system over time. This can be done by giving syringes that contain small doses of the substance you are allergic to, solutions or tablets that are placed on the inside of the lip. This treatment is usually not given to children under five years of age.




Age: 45

Residence: Bærum

Distance during the BMW Oslo Marathon 2020:
I run half, and of course aim to have the widest smile all the way.

Previous participation in the Oslo Marathon:
«10 for Grete» 2013, Half Marathon 2014 and 2015, 2017 and 2018 and marathon in 2019.

Three words that describe me:
Outgoing, Smiling, Energetic

Instagram: @muddylicious