A 2018 research paper published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology called EIR an “elusive disease.” According to pulmonologist and sleep doctor Dr. Mayank Shukla, it’s important to understand what exactly happens during exercise in order to grasp what EIR is. When you step out for a run or hit the gym for a 30-minute workout, your heart rate increases because it’s pumping out more oxygen to meet the requirements of elevated levels of activity. This essentially means that your nose and lungs are working overtime to breathe in more air to supply that oxygen. Taking in as much as 15 times more oxygen can result in you inhaling allergens from the environment that eventually irritate your nasal passage, and this can lead to a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, and congestion.
If you’re already familiar with allergies, you probably know all about avoiding potential allergens like pollen, smoke, pollution, pet dander, household chemicals, etc. And this is the same principle someone with exercise-induced rhinitis should be following. The condition itself is harmless (via TODAY), but as Dr. William Silvers, lead author of the 2006 study, told the publication, it “snots up your nose and clothes!” Nasal sprays, allergy testing, immunotherapy, and avoiding triggers are all things you can try.