Nasal Allergy Advice From an Olympic Athlete
Two-time Olympic Gold medalist Misty May-Treanor is a frequent traveler, hopping from country to country for training and beach volleyball competitions. And while her nasal allergies can worsen in certain climates, she never lets them slow her down.
"I always team up with my doctor before peak allergy season instead of waiting for the symptoms to start," says May-Treanor, who will compete this summer in the 2012 Summer Games in London. (May-Treanor and her teammate, Kerri Walsh, who were gold medalists in 2004 and 2008, are the only beach volleyball team to repeat as gold medalists.)
Discussing how she copes with nasal allergies, May-Treanor explains: "For me, it was a matter of finding the right medication."
May-Treanor is a spokesperson for Ditch the Drip: Get Serious About Nasal Allergies, a campaign launched by Teva Respiratory and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America to highlight the seriousness of both indoor and outdoor allergies.
Nasal allergies, also called allergic rhinitis, affect more than 1 in 5 Americans. They trigger a constellation of symptoms that can range from a runny or itchy nose to tearing eyes to sneezing. Some sufferers experience a loss of productivity from work or school, and their quality of life may be reduced.
Symptoms begin when an affected person breathes in an allergen such as pollen or dust. Mold or pet dander can also trigger allergies. Allergies are common and you are definitely more likely to develop them if both your parents have them. The chance is greater when your mother has allergies.
Getting tested as soon as you have symptoms is important. May-Treanor says, "I urge people who have symptoms to get tested so that the allergies don't become worse."
As a young child, May-Treanor, who was born in Los Angeles in 1977, played beach volleyball with her parents at the Santa Monica Pier. She played her first volleyball tournament with her dad at the age of eight. From 1995 to 1999, she played volleyball in college for the Long Beach State 49ers, and in 1998, the team she was captain of was the first women's NCAA volleyball team to enjoy an undefeated season.
May-Treanor is especially passionate about beach volleyball. "There's more freedom and there are only two people on the court," she says. "So you are involved in every play and you have to develop all your skills."
Now living in Long Beach, May-Treanor finds that her allergies are more bothersome in some climates. Often, there's more pollen in the air on dry, hot, windy days—which means worsened symptoms.
"The Santa Ana dry, dusty winds can spark allergies for me, and I have much more trouble in dryer climates and when it is dusty," May-Treanor says. "When I was competing in Beijing, the smog sparked my allergies."
After this summer's Olympics, May-Treanor is planning to step away from volleyball competitions. She'd like to get a master's degree in coaching or athletic administration. "I'd like to coach sooner or later," she says. "I encourage kids to play a sport, not necessarily volleyball but any sport."
"What is allergic rhinitis?" The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
"Allergic rhinitis." Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health.
Before You Go Under the Knife: 6 Facts About Plastic Surgery
Cure for Cat Allergies? Scientists Are Getting Close
Split (Ends) Happens: How to Keep Hair Healthy
6 Rules for Reversing a Bad Impression
Do You Have Too Much of This Type of Fat?
Sign Up for Free Newsletters
Ask Your Doctor the RIGHT Questions!
the most from your doctor visit.
Emailed right to you!
The Ask Your Doctor email series
may contain sponsored content.
18+, US residents only please.
Explore Original Articles About...
Get the MOST from QualityHealth
- Top Searches
- 1. Arthritis Management: Nature Heals
- 2. 5 Digestive To-Dos
- 3. Men: Should You Shave It or Leave It?
- 4. Today's Top Fitness Trends
- 5. Sugar and Osteoarthritis : The Link
- 6. Can't Afford Your Hospital Bills?
- 7. Stay Energized All Day Long
- 8. Phobias: Who Has Them and Why?
- 9. What If Your EpiPen Fails?
- 10. 5 Costly Medical Billing Mistakes
- 1. Hotter Temperatures Linked To Kidney Stones
- 2. Summer Bug Bites: What to Look For
- 3. Skin Health Advice with Dr. Kenneth Beer
- 4. Summer Safety Tips That Every Parent Needs To Know
- 5. Sugar and Your Immunity System
- 6. Do Weight Loss Supplements Work?
- 7. 5 Super Foods for Spring
- 8. The Hazards of Reusable Bags
- 9. How to Avoid Ingrown Hairs
- 10. Health Tip: Constantly Change Shoes
- 1. 4 Common Treatments for Epilepsy
- 2. What Does a Urogynecologist Do?
- 3. GERD Without Heartburn? It's Possible
- 4. Graston Technique: Can It Work on You?
- 5. Music Therapy Can Help Autism
- 6. 8 Ways to Fight MS-Related Fatigue
- 7. Can You Still Bleed After Menopause?
- 8. Be Your Own Health Care Advocate
- 9. Why Is Syphillis on the Rise?
- 10. Ideal Weight vs. Happy Weight
The material on the QualityHealth Web site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a physician or other qualified health provider. See additional information.