Allergies on the Golf Course

Both women golfers and their male counterparts sometimes have their beloved sport of Golf hindered by watery eyes and constant sneezing. In some cases women golfers feel they have to give up completely and stay away from the course.

In the US alone over 38 million people are affected by allergies. This number is growing due to the change in our environment and diet. Allergies are essentially your body’s abnormal reaction to protein in the environment. The types of proteins that cause allergies are:

Tree pollen;
Grass pollen;
Ragweed pollen;
Mold; and in severe cases

Stings from insects like bees or marine life

Hopefully, there is not too much marine life on your local golf course but do be aware when you travel further a field, what could be lurking in the waters both on and off the course.

So for practicalities sake, let’s deal with the allergies that are likely to affect women golfers in their day to day life. When you look at the list above, you can easily see why women golfers tend to be amongst the worst allergy sufferers – as most of these factors are present on each and every golf course.

Allergy sufferers tend to show the following symptoms:

Itchy tearing eyes
Stuffy or runny nose
Excessive sneezing
Sinus problems

The reason why you experience watery eyes and a runny nose when you have an allergy is because your body is releasing histamine. The body releases this chemical in response to any kind of injury, including allergies. Histamine causes swelling at the sight of the injury – which explains the effects on your facial region when you experience an allergy.

Treatments

You don’t have to stay away from your favorite past-time or obsession because of your allergies. There are some simple and effective treatments to help you stay on top of your form and enjoy being on the golf course.

What kind of medicine can I take for my allergy?

Cutting down on the amount of histamine that is being released by your body is the first step. You can do this by using an antihistamine. A few years ago, antihistamines were best known for making you drowsy. The new medicines have alleviated this problem. You can get the following non-drowsy antihistamines to help you stay on the course and play for par:

Tablets/Pills

Over-the-Counter: Antihistamines that contain loratidine such as Claritin are non-drowsy and available at your local drug store in the U.S.

By Prescription Only: The second generation of antihistamines that are available by prescription in the US include ingredients such as fexofenadine, cetirizine and desloratadine. These are: Allegra, Zyrtec, and Clarinex
The bonus of these medications is that you only need to take them once a day and they will give you up to 24 hrs protection. The best advice is to take them in the morning and certainly not at night, when your body needs to feel drowsy naturally in order to reach its restful state in sleeping.

Women golfers traveling overseas on a golf vacation may need to take some of these medicines with them. In case they happen to be one of the things left at home, you may find that the prescription medicines are available over the counter at the local pharmacy or drug store. The medicines may be called by different names, for example: Claritin is called Clarinase in Australasia and Asia.

As a rule antihistamines do not affect any blood pressure medication, but please double check with your doctor to ensure that this goes for all of the medication you are taking.

Nasal Sprays

If you object to using a daily dose of tablets to counter your allergies, you may want to try a nasal spray that contains harmless designer steroids. These act to reduce the inflammation and swelling in your nasal passages caused by allergies. The relief is confined to your nasal passages only, whereas another type of nasal spray called azelastine, is also an antihistamine and gives relief to both your nose and the rest of your body.

This is used twice a day. Both of the types of nasal sprays talked about here are prescription and not the over the counter sprays at the local drug store. Unlike those over the counter nasal sprays, these types maintain
their effectiveness and your body does not become immune to them.

Shots

Lastly, you can also try allergy shots administered by your doctor. These are useful to some people and not others; they can cause an immunity or rebound of the symptoms to occur in some individuals.

If you are a golfing enthusiast who has an allergy to bee stings, then you need to ensure that you always carry injectable epinephrine (EpiPen) in your golf bag. Bee stings can cause anaphylaxis and the symptoms of a bee
sting allergy are:

Hives
Swelling of the tongue and throat
Difficulty breathing

Epinephrine is a hormone that quickly reduces the swelling and relaxes the lungs to improve breathing.
Should you be a companion of an unfortunate golfer allergic to bee stings, you need to know how to spot the severe reaction and if they have injectable epinephrine with them. If they do not have this medication, then you need to pull out all stops and ensure that you help them breath and get them to an emergency room or medical attention as soon as possible.

You don’t need to let you allergies take away the things you enjoy. By dealing with your allergies through the proper medication – you can feel on par and return that swing to your step.

One final note: We are not physicians or connected to the medical or pharmaceutical industries in any way. Please consult with a physician before taking any medications!

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