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  • 1 University of Szeged, Hungary
  • 2 Institute of Psychology, University of Szeged, Hungary
  • 3 Institute of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Szeged, Hungary
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Purpose

This study aims to compare the impact of active allergic rhinitis on physical and cognitive abilities of trained allergic athletes to untrained allergic patients.

Methods

Cognitive, respiratory, and fitness functions were assessed before and after allergen exposure. Participants in both groups were provoked intranasally with ragweed allergen.

Results

The group of athletes revealed significantly higher average values in peak inspiratory flow and fitness index before and after provocation. In neuropsychological assessments, athletes performed significantly better after allergen provocation in complex working memory capacity. Due to single acute allergen exposure, the size of the nasal cavity and nasal inspiratory peak flow significantly decreased in both groups. The physical performance of both groups did not change after provocation. Executive functions and complex working memory capacity of athletes significantly improved resulting from provocation.

Conclusions

A single-shot allergen in high dose might cause an increase in mental concentration, which was more pronounced in the group of athletes. This study indicates that acute exposure to allergen cannot affect the physical performance and may result in increased mental focus in patients with allergy notwithstanding the declining respiratory functions.

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