Brass Playing irritates hay fever sufferers?!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Rambo Chick, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. Rambo Chick

    Rambo Chick Member

    A pupil of mine arrived at her lesson today and told me her doctor says she's not allowed to play her trumpet because it irritates her throat, making it inflamed and sore. I was surprised at this. One other thing - her hay fever is not caused by pollen, its the weather which causes it apparently?!

    I was a bit dubious but maybe someone else has suffered from this? Is the doctor being silly/diagnosing the wrong 'cause'? I always thought brass playing helped breathing, and am curious how it could be made worse by playing?

  2. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    DISCLAIMER: My expertise in this is purely as a sufferer for about 20 years - I'm not medically qualified in any way, but I do know a bit about it from my own research.

    Firstly, if it's not caused by pollen it could still, arguably, be hay fever. It could well be an allergic reaction to something other than pollen resulting in the same symptoms. Hay Fever is a seasonal allergy to airborne particles, most commonly grass pollen in the UK, but it can also be caused by other pollens (about 25% of UK sufferers are allergic to Birch pollen, and Olive pollen can cause a problem in some mediterranean countries) or possibly other particles such as diesel particulates. By far the most common cause is grass pollen though. There is empirical evidence to suggest that pollution is a strong aggravating factor. Weather, as far as I know, doesn't cause hay fever, but if you suffer from it anyway your nasal lining gets inflamed and almost anything will aggravate it, including suddenly going out into bright sunlight.

    It's unusual for Hay Fever to affect the throat, generally it's the eyes and upper respiratory tract. However, it's not uncommon, after a bad week, for the sheer amount of sneezing and general snottiness (sorry if you're eating :oops: ) to cause minor coughs, chest or throat infections. I can't really imagine how playing the trumpet would aggravate this, but as I said, I'm not a doctor.

    From my experience, I found playing helped with hay fever. It allowed me to get my breathing under control and the pressure of the mouthpiece acted a bit like putting a finger under your nose if you know you're going to sneeze. However if what your pupil has is a throat infection it might be sensible not to play until it's cleared up? Might be worth asking your pupil to get a note from the doctor explaining the thinking behind his/her advice?
  3. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Could be all sorts of things - just as an example, it could be temperature triggered urticaria which in some ways presents in the same way as hay fever in that it's a histamine related illness.

    As Andy says, getting the explanation off the Doc is the best way.
  4. mjwarman

    mjwarman Member

    I agree with Anno Draconis, while playing, my symptoms almost disappear!! (I did dep with a band last weekend and my eyes continued to water while playing, it must have looked like I was crying!!) I always thought it was down to the fact I was concentrating on something else, and the sneezing/sniffing was put on the backburner (I cannot multi-task to save my life), but can see that it could be down to the way in which you have to regulate your breathing. Maybe we could market brass playing as a new cure for hay fever!!!

    The fact that I am almost hay feverless while playing, you'd think i'd practice more!!!
  5. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Sounds like Pansies to me C. ;)

  6. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member


    first post so please be nice :)

    I think this doctor is talking out of his backside. I am in no way a doctor or in the medical profession but having had hayfever since the age of 9 up until now (16) I've found that playing opens the airways and helps prevent the usual areas (nose mainly) getting irritated by the pollen.

    I think this doctor couldn't find an explanation and is firmly grasping at straws
  7. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

  8. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    what kind of era are we talking mesmerist?
  9. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    Probably before you were born!!!!:oops: :oops: :oops:

    Its RUDE to ask a lady her age in public!!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    I didn't realise you were of the breasticulated variety :oops: :oops: :oops:

  11. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    :clap: That mistake has been made before :biggrin:
    Nice word "breasticulated" ... yes I'll definately add that to my collection
  12. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    Am I butch then???? (sob sob sob)
  13. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    you type butch..... :confused: :confused:
  14. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    about as butch as me on a Sat eve ;)
  15. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    It's not your only post now ;)

    I'd be very careful about expressing opinions like this - there are are a plethora of histamine mediated conditions of which Hay Fever is only one. It's entirely possible that 'hay fever' was an early diagnosis which has now been refined to something else.....but hay fever is a term that most people are familiar with so it may have stuck just for understanding's sake.

    The body's response to stimulus may well look the same as 'hay fever', but that stimulus need not necessarily be pollen.

    There's rather more to this than clutching at straws and anecdotal experience ;)
  16. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    But I`m wearing nail varnish...
  17. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    it could be counteracted by the wearing of such items as hobnail boots?
  18. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    Ah! an interesting mix..........
    This exchange can't last. This is not a random thread! :D
  19. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    sorry - in my first 10 or so posts I've wrecked up the forum system!!
  20. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    Just what I was thinking myself. He is leading us off -topic.:biggrin: