ASTHMA AND ALLERGY MONTH

Staying Healthy in Springs
By Chris Tonozzi, MD

The month of May is Asthma and Allergy month. Most of us aren’t celebrating our asthma or allergy problems, but here are some tips to keep you healthy this spring.

It is common to experience “seasonal allergies” at this time of year. Common seasonal allergy symptoms are itching, burning eyes, runny nose, and/or sneezing. There is no great treatment for seasonal allergies, but there are several things you can try at home:
  • A steroid nasal spray (fluticasone or brand name Flonase, mometasone or brand name Nasonex, etc.) will help with upper airway symptoms for those over 12 years of age, and this is available over the counter. It needs to be used for 1-2 weeks before you will notice the full effects of the spray.
  • Oral anti-histamine medications can also help. This includes diphenhydramine (Benedryl), fexofenadine (Allegra), or cetirizine (Zyrtec).
Be patient with these treatments, as you may need to use them for up to two weeks before they will start to help. If you’ve tried these treatments, and your symptoms aren’t improving, call us for an appointment at Mountain Family Health Centers.

Asthma can be a more serious issue than seasonal allergies. Asthma not only causes a lot of discomfort, it is also a major cause of emergency room visits and hospitalizations. Our goal in the medical field is to help those with asthma prevent “flare ups” (times when you have wheezing, cough and/or difficulty breathing). These flare ups can be dangerous, so it is important to use preventive or control measures to avoid them. At an asthma visit with your medical provider, he or she will outline methods for asthma prevention or control. This commonly includes the use of a steroid inhaler (fluticasone/Flovent, budesonide/Pulmicort, beclomethasone/QVar) or steroid combination medications (Advair, Symbicort, etc.). Be sure you have an “Asthma Action Plan”. This is a plan you make with your medical provider that outlines what to do as your symptoms get worse.

Good luck taking control of your asthma or allergy symptoms, so you can get out and enjoy our beautiful Western Colorado spring!

ASTHMA AND ALLERGY MONTH was last modified: May 2nd, 2017 by Lindsey Lewis
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