Woods, who is considered the best professional golfer of all times, was born in 1975 and has secured his reputation during the short course of his career by his impressive talent securing a win on the golf course. In fact, the golfer, who is currently taking a hiatus from the sport to recover from a knee injury, has won a record-setting number of major tournaments. But while many of his fans know very well all of his career tournament wins, fewer know about the challenges he has to overcome when his allergies to the pollen, grass and dust on the golf course kick in.

Refusing to Be Defeated by Allergies

Rumor has it that Woods doesn’t like to use allergy medication when he competes. Instead, he relies on the tolerance he has built up as the result of receiving allergy shots when he was younger. But this alone has not been enough to help him combat the sneezing, sniffling and irritating eyes that plague him when exposed to the outdoors.

That’s why those who know him well also report that he takes steps to control his environment as much as possible, using air purifiers in his room and simply minimizing his exposure to his allergy triggers to the greatest extent that he can.

Many Golfers Suffer from Allergies

Of course Woods isn’t the only professional golfer to be allergic to the golf course environment, where weather, time of the day, and season of the year can all affect how the players feel and how they play. In fact, Jill McGill, a member of the Ladies Golf Professional Association (LPGA), also suffers from similar symptoms, and she even recently began using her experiences to educate the public about the importance of partnering with their physicians in order to most effectively manage their allergy symptoms.

Empowering Others to Explore the Range of Treatment Options

McGill, in conjunction with the Allergy Foundation of America, is helping to spread the word that a number of effective treatments do exist today to help allergy suffers fight back against the symptoms that plague them, both indoors and out.

McGill says that she suffered for years on the course before finally seeing her doctor and exploring her treatment options. Unlike Woods, who went it alone, McGill decided to turn to medication to help manage her condition. And she says that once she found the right medicine, she experienced tremendous relief from her nasal symptoms. Further, the effects were so profound that she agreed to share her experiences to help promote the benefits of developing an allergy treatment and management plan. Now, she gets her message out through a national campaign called Challenge Your Course, which provides facts and information to help allergy suffers make educated decisions. You can learn more about this effort at www.challengeyourcourse.com.

What You Can Do to Feel Better

Perhaps the best advice for anyone who is plagued by allergies -- yet still enjoys playing a round of golf -- is to plan ahead before you head to the course. Here are some other things you can do to keep your sneezing and watery eyes in check so you play your best:

  • Check the pollen count before you head out the door. Also remember that days that are especially windy or have high humidity can also make your symptoms worse.
  • Avoid freshly-mowed grass, which can trigger symptoms in many people.
  • Steer clear of the golf course first thing in the morning, when pollen is usually more intense.
  • Wear wrap-around sun glasses to protect your eyes from pollen and other irritants.
  • Rely on the newest types of allergy medicine, if needed, to effectively manage your symptoms without making you drowsy.
  • Consult with your doctor for additional advice on how to best treat your specific condition.