Asthma and allergies used to slow down 54-year-old cyclist Doug. He would limit his rides depending on weather or if he felt the onset of an attack. Several close calls found him hunched over on the side of the road, unable to breathe.
All his life, Doug learned to live with his symptoms and figured he had to “tough it out.” But six years ago when he decided to compete in the grueling Race Across America (RAAM) he finally saw an allergist.
Doug’s allergist diagnosed him with exercise-induced bronchospam (EIB) with asthma, which explained why exercising made him feel his lungs close or left him short of breath.
Doug’s allergist helped him identify his triggers, which were mostly environmental, including grass, pollution, dust, goose down products and cats. Together they developed a treatment plan that allows Doug to continue cycling without problems.
Doug credits his allergist with enabling him to endure long bike rides despite high temperatures and air pollution. He quickly progressed from short rides to training for up to 14 hours a day without worry or medication.
“Before I was always thinking about my breathing,” Doug says. “I would even pray for rain when I was riding because that would clear the air. Now I can go on my rides with confidence, knowing my condition is under control.”
It took Doug several decades to find an allergist and find relief, but just 11 days, 4 hours and 59 minutes to complete the RAAM, cycling more than 3,000 miles across the country with few breaks. A nebulizer he brought along for emergencies went unused; it’s still in its original box.
This patient successfully found relief after seeing an allergist, but the patient’s photograph is not available to respect the patient’s privacy and identity.