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Katie Heckman, Manager, Community Relations
Manage Your Spring Allergies Through Prevention and Treatment
Berea, Ky. (April 11, 2017) – Spring is in the air, which means sneezing, coughing and puffy eyes are on the horizon. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) estimates that nearly 50 million Americans each year suffer from nasal allergies and Kentucky is commonly ranked among the worst places to live with spring allergies by the AAFA. This spring, KentuckyOne Health is offering tips on how to manage your seasonal allergies, often referred to as hay fever, as trees and flowers begin to bloom.
Hayfever occurs when your immune system overreacts to a foreign substance known as an allergen, which often include pollen, mold, and animal dander. In the spring, major allergy triggers are often related to tree pollination that occurs this time of year. Tree pollens are lightweight and can travel significant distances, often ending up in people’s noses and mouths.
Seasonal allergy symptoms typically include coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, itchy eyes and a scratchy throat, and sometimes, shortness of breath. Those with asthma may find that seasonal allergies make their condition harder to control.
“Seasonal allergies are very common, affecting at least 1 in 5 Americans,” said Neil Klemek, MD, KentuckyOne Health Urgent Care in Richmond. “During the spring season, warm air and intermittent rain can lead to rapid tree growth and pollen production. As a result, it’s important to check the pollen count regularly, which is the most common seasonal allergy trigger, and to take precautions to avoid coming in contact with it. For example, you might try to stay indoors on dry and windy days when the allergens are typically worse.”
While there is no known cure for allergies, they can be managed through prevention and treatment. To help alleviate symptoms, allergy sufferers should avoid yard work or take a shower immediately after outdoor activities. Closing windows on days with high pollen counts is also recommended.
People with persistent allergy issues may need to take additional action to help with symptoms, such as purchasing eye drops and saline sprays, which are available over-the-counter, or an oral antihistamine, such as Zyrtec or Allegra. A steroid nasal spray may also be recommended. If allergy suffers are taking preventative steps and still not feeling any relief, they may need to see an ear, nose and throat specialist to see if immunotherapy, such as allergy shots or drops under the tongue, is needed.
“In more severe cases, surgical therapy may be required to treat congestion, pressure and nasal obstruction,” said Dr. Klemek. “Talk to your physician about your symptoms and the best way to help eliminate them.”
If you suffer from allergy symptoms, visit a primary care provider to determine which type of treatment may be best suited to manage your symptoms. To find a provider near you, visit chooseyourdoor.org, or call 888.570.8091.
About KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health, the largest and most comprehensive health system in the Commonwealth, has more than 200 locations including, hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies in Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is dedicated to bringing wellness, healing and hope to all, including the underserved. The system is made up of the former Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System, along with the University of Louisville Hospital and James Graham Brown Cancer Center. KentuckyOne Health is proud of and strengthened by its Catholic, Jewish and academic heritages.