Health Alert | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Medical Minute 5-12: Six Ways to Beat Allergies

By: Ramin Khalili Email
By: Ramin Khalili Email

Carolyn McMillan is stuck. She wants to take her Harley out, but the grasses, trees and allergies keep her stuck in the garage.

"My eyes get really watery … my nose gets runny … and … it gets hard to breathe," said Carolyn McMillan.

When over-the-counter remedies failed, she needed more powerful medicine.

"Eye-drops … nose-drops … let's see … we're on three different kinds of steroids - it's pretty intensive."

"If you are reacting during the spring … it means you are allergic to the trees. If you are reacting during the summer … it means you are allergic to the grasses."

When over-the-counter remedies failed … she needed more powerful medicine.

"Eye-drops … nose-drops … let's see … we're on three different kinds of steroids - it's pretty intensive."

"If you are reacting during the spring … it means you are allergic to the trees. If you are reacting during the summer … it means you are allergic to the grasses," said Talal Nsouli, M.D., Georgetown University Washington, DC.

Doctor Talal Nsouli knows. As former personal allergist to President Bill Clinton, he's even worked out of the white house.

"Very intense place … it's a wonderful place to be in."

Your Spring can be wonderful by making your own salt-water nasal spray. It cleans-out thick mucous that over-the-counter stuff won't. Plus - it keeps your nose hairs clean, which may fight sinusitis.

Spicy foods can thin and drain mucous in your nose.
But anyone allergic to pollen should stay away from bananas, melon, or sunflower seeds. They can make standard symptoms much worse.

Also - add some milk to your kids' diets. New research shows kids with low vitamin D levels had a higher risk of reaction to ragweed and grasses.

"It's no longer considered a simple disease affecting the nose … but it can affect the whole quality of life."

"You can't let it stop you … in the Spring and the Fall - those are my really hard times."

Carolyn needs medicine - and if you do, too … it's best to start 3 weeks before allergy season.

That's why she - and her bike - are inside, for now …

For more information on other series produced by Ivanhoe Broadcast News contact John Cherry at (407) 691-1500, jcherry@ivanhoe.com.

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BACKGROUND: An allergy occurs when the immune system reacts to something that does not bother most other people. Normally, this reaction is due to the immune systems defense mechanism against germs, but most times an allergic reaction is a response to a false alarm. Scientists believe the cause is a combination of genes and the environment, and it is estimated that allergies plague at least one out of every five Americans. Although allergies will cause sufferers to feel sick, they’re generally not life-threatening. (SOURCE: NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

WHERE ALLERGENS ARE: Allergens are usually found in a number of places. During the spring and summer months, the most common sources are from pollen, trees, grass, and weeds. Mold, animal dander, and dust also contain allergens, and these sources are present year-round. Also not to be forgotten are the various food allergens. If it’s suspected that you may be allergic to something in the air, or in your home, your doctor can do an allergy skin test to help determine what exactly is causing the allergy. Your doctor may also do a blood test called radioallergosorbent test (RAST). Knowledge is power, and identifying what is causing the allergies in your system will allow you and your doctor to decide the best method for treatment.

SYMPTOMS: Knowing the symptoms of allergies are essential to get treated.

Some common symptoms are:

• Watery eyes
• Sneezing
• Stuffy or runny nose
• Itchiness in nose, eyes, and roof of mouth
• Hives

(SOURCE: www.familydoctor.org)

STOPPING THE SNIFFLES: There are many ways to alleviate the bothersome symptoms of allergies. Doctors can prescribe antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays, and eye drops, but without a prescription, sufferers can buy over-the-counter medicines like decongestants, or cromolyn sodium: a nasal spray that helps prevent allergic reactions.
For a holistic approach, using a humidifier, or breathing in moist air two to four times per day aids in decongesting. Also, avoiding harsh chemical fumes and cigarette smoke would be beneficial. Remember to drink more water, juice, and decaf tea; it thins out the mucous, and increases drainage.
Lastly, create your own nasal spray using salt, baking soda, and water to keep sinuses clean and clear. However, be careful not to overuse the spray or you may become overly dependent. (SOURCE: webmd.com/allergies)

For More Information, Contact:
Fathia Choukri
Practice Manager
allergyfathia@gmail.com


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