SPRING HAS SPRUNG

Spring is in the air and so are billions of tiny pollens that trigger allergy symptoms in millions of people.

This condition is called seasonal allergic rhinitis, commonly referred to as hay fever. Hay fever can affect your quality of life: It can lead to sinus infections, can disrupt your sleep and affect your ability to learn at school or be productive at work.

Symptoms include:

Itching in the nose, roof of the mouth,
throat and eyes
Sneezing—often many times in a row
Stuffy nose (congestion)
Runny nose
Watering and tearing of the eyes
Dark circles under the eyes

This year, our spring pollen season started early, due to a very warm winter.

Trees generally pollinate in the early spring. Birch, cedar, eucalyptus, oak are among the trees that cause problems.
Grass starts to release its pollen in April and continues into the summer.
Weeds cause hay fever in the fall. Ragweed is the biggest offender in much of the country but is less problematic here in California.

Avoiding your allergy triggers is the best way to reduce symptoms.

Limit outdoor activities during days with high pollen counts.
Keep windows closed (at home or in the car) to keep pollens out, especially on windy days.
Take a shower after coming indoors. Otherwise, pollen in your hair may bother you all night.

Did you know?

Hay fever cannot be diagnosed by history alone. An allergist can diagnose your allergies and determine the specific triggers that cause them, through simple allergy skin tests.

Once you know what you are allergic to, keep track of pollen counts in your
area so you know what to expect and when to be especially careful about taking your medication.

Allergy shots and drops (immunotherapy) have been proven to provide long-term relief of allergic rhinitis, reducing both your allergy symptoms and need for medications.

Given the drought situation in the Bay Area, complicated by the poor air quality, it is likely that we will have an atypical, prolonged, pollen season. Being proactive will surely help decrease the effects of allergies in your life and we are here to assist you in achieving that goal.

EXERCISE-INDUCED ASTHMA

Exercise-induced asthma/exercise induced bronchospasm is a very prevalent medical condition which affects many children and adults.

Living in the Bay Area, we are blessed with great weather and beautiful parks and trails, conducive to many outdoor activities. Regular physical activity is important to everyone’s health and well-being but in many, exercise can trigger symptoms of chest tightness and shortness of breath, as well as coughing and wheezing. As a result, an individual is less likely to exercise regularly and some parents, given their obvious concerns, restrict their child’s activity.

Asthma and allergic rhinitis are frequently associated with exercise-induced bronchospasm and are the most common chronic diseases affecting children in the United States.

As many of you know, the prevalence of asthma has increased over the years and exercise is a common trigger for those with asthma. In fact, for many children with mild to moderate asthma, exercise limitation is a major concern and in some cases, may affect both physical and social development. In many cases, these children also have other allergic conditions such as eczema and food allergies, adding to the social stigma of the allergic child.

What to do? First and foremost, it is important to determine the role allergy plays in those with exercised-induced asthma or bronchospasm. A careful medical and family history is crucial, as is allergy skin testing to identify other possible triggers. Pulmonary function
studies are also very important and should be performed to determine the patient’s lung capacity.

TAKING PROPER CARE OF YOUR EpiPen®/AuviQ®?

It's important to properly store your adrenaline auto-injector to help ensure it's ready to use in the event of a severe allergic reaction. When storing your EpiPen®/AuviQ, follow these

recommendations:

Always store EpiPen®/AuviQ®? in the carrier tube with the safety release on until you need to use it.
Keep EpiPen®/AuviQ®? at room temperature. Do not refrigerate.
EpiPen®/AuviQ®? can be safely exposed to temperatures between 68°F to 77°F.
Do not keep EpiPen®/AuviQ®? in a vehicle during extremely hot or cold weather.
Protect your EpiPen®/AuviQ®? from light.

Now would be a good time to check the expiration date and make sure your EpiPen®/AuviQ®? has not expired

In observance of Memorial Day we will be closed on Monday, May 26th.
Download May 2014 Newsletter