As Michigan summer breezes spread pollen in
the air, they can leave Wise Women sneezing and
fighting itchy, watery eyes and noses. “In June,
the main outdoor allergens are pollen and mold,”
says Nancy White, M.D., Henry Ford Medical
Group. “Plus, there are many indoor allergens
to consider, including dust mites, cats, dogs and
mold. Even women who don’t normally have
allergy problems may notice, when these things
combine in the warmer weather, that they have
significant symptoms, such as sneezing, a clear
runny nose, watery eyes and a cough.”
What Can You Do?
“The key is avoidance,” says Dr. White. “If
you’re having trouble with outdoor allergens,
stay inside, in the air conditioning, as much
as possible. If you’ve been outside, shower to
decrease allergens in your hair or on your body.
“If you’re indoors, avoidance is still the key. Using
special allergy cases for mattresses, pillows
and cushions will help. If you’re allergic to your
pet, bathe it frequently and vacuum and clean
thoroughly. If you have mold issues in your home,
eliminate those, and keep humidity at less than
50 percent,” advises Dr. White.
For Wise Women who love exercising outdoors,
especially in the Michigan summer, there is still
hope if you suffer from allergies. “Exercise early
in the morning or later in the evening when the
allergen counts are lower,” Dr. White suggests.
“Drink extra water when allergies are in full
swing, because you’ll have increased fluid loss
with the sneezing and runny nose symptoms. If
you have highly sensitive allergic reactions, you
may want to switch to indoor exercise or use a
mask while exercising outside.”
Ask the Doctor
Nancy S. White, M.D.,
Henry Ford Medical Group
Allergies: If You Can’t Beat Them,
Here’s How to Treat Them
Over-the-counter non-sedating antihistamines
(Claritin® or Allegra®) are long-acting and usually
easy to tolerate.
Benadryl® is an antihistamine, but it may make you
Nasal corticosteroid sprays are common treatments,
but you’ll need a prescription.
Over-the-counter nasal sprays (like Afrin®) are helpful
in the short term (i.e., a few days) but they can
cause problems if used regularly.
Rinsing with a Neti pot (
information) is helpful to minimize allergens in the
If these measures don’t work, see your doctor
for testing to identify triggers. Allergy shots may
be used if you don’t respond to the treatments