Burning, sore throat and headache cycling to work; time to invest in a mask?

The last two times I have cycled to work, I have ended up with a burning throat and, today, also toothache. The first time it happened I thought nothing of it, and assumed I was bit under the weather. But it happened again today and so I’m starting to think it’s more than just coincidence.

From reading the thread below, it does seem that this can happen when it’s a bit colder. It was certainly fresher this morning (but not cold) and I was a bit chilly in just one layer when I started my 8-mile commute to work. The wheezy, sore sensation really hit me after a fast downhill section followed by a fairly steep uphill, so it could just have been cold air hitting my throat. I also developed a mild headache.


What’s also interesting about this thread is it talks about not tensing throat muscles and also the importance of hydration if you’re going to be doing intense cycling.

Here are two possible reasons; I was in the highest possible gear going down the hill, and although conditions were dry and traffic light (everyone queueing for petrol?), I do sometimes have a propensity to tense up when I’m flying along at 30mph, slightly fearful of a random pothole springing out of nowhere.

I was also pretty thirsty when I woke this morning and my half a glass of water probably wasn’t enough – that might explain the headache. Or it could be a combination of cold air, tensing up, breathing through the mouth too much and dehydration. But it’s too early to draw conclusions, and interestingly, I was fine on the way home tonight, although the cold beer I sunk minutes after arriving home probably helped soothe things! And of course, that might explain the headache tomorrow…

So I’m going to monitor it and see how I go; ┬ábut it has got me thinking about whether it was something to do with the atmospheric conditions and the pollution levels hanging around at my level – do I need to starting wearing a mask?

I’ve got my eye on the Respro City anti-pollution mask; it gets good reviews and only time will tell whether I need it or not.



About Wadsterboy

30-something Yorkshireman, living in Manchester, close to the Peak District. Love the outdoors, love her indoors, not so keen on the film Sliding Doors.
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