Get the Facts About Allergies
stuffy nose, coughing and sneezing. For allergy sufferers, spring can
wreak havoc and often trigger or worsen asthma and other respiratory
of spring respiratory problems come from inhaling allergens, such as
pollens and mold spores, according to Dr. David Valacer, director of
the Children's Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Center at the Weill
Cornell Medical Center of New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
Valacer suggests the following tips for reducing the misery:
If you stay
in air-conditioned areas, you may reduce your symptoms. But, be aware
they will act up the moment you go outside and may remain with you the
rest of the day.
units do not filter out pollen or mold spores. HVAC systems harbor
moisture, mold and dust. If you must use an air-conditioner, remember
to keep it clean.
suffer from mild symptoms, over-the-counter antihistamines will help
you for a few hours. Caution should be taken, since most of these drugs
do cause drowsiness. Also, occasionally older men develop problems with
urination when taking antihistamines.
If you need
more relief, over-the-counter antihistamines combined with a
decongestant also can relieve symptoms, but read the package for health
warnings. People taking multiple medications, or who save other chronic
medical problems like hypertension, should consult a physician.
If you are
concerned about your symptoms or they are not relieved by the above,
please see your physician. In almost all instances, these symptoms can
be helped by identifying your specific allergic sensitivities and
tailoring treatment measures to specific allergen avoidance and/or with
prescription drugs, nasal sprays, eye drops, non-sedating
antihistamines and/or allergy shots.
Did You Know?
affect as many as 35 million people in the United States; 6 million of
them are children, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma
tend to run in families. If one parent is allergic, the child has a one
in four chance of developing an allergy. If both parents are allergic,
it is likely two out of three children will be allergic also.
Dr. Clemmens Von Pirquet, an Austrian physician, coined the term "allergy," meaning "altered reactivity" in the early 1900s.
scientists have discovered a link between people's date of birth and
their allergies. Individuals with grass pollen allergies are most
likely to be born between January and May, while people with mold
allergies are least likely to be born in April, May and December.
A sneeze can throw water droplets six feet into the air at speeds up to 100 miles per hour.
clear description of what is today known as "hay fever" was written in
1565 by Botallus, a physician living in Padua, Italy.
When someone sneezes, we say "God bless you" in English. Here are some "bless you" equivalents from around the world:
Italian — "Salute!"
Spanish — "Salud!"
French — "A vos souhaits!"
Russian — "Boot-tyeh zdarovi"
Norwegian — "Velsigne du"
Chinese — "Dui-bu-qui"
Turkish — "Cok yasa"
Hindi — "Bhagvan apka bhala kare!"
Hawaiian — "Ho' omaika' I"
Dutch — "Zegenen jou"
For more information, allergy sufferers can check out pollen forecasts for their local areas on the Allegra Web site at: www.allegra.org/nab