What’s Going Around: Is it cold or allergies?

What’s Going Around: Is it cold or allergies?

What’s Going Around this week can be confusing to people with the symptoms.
Experts say they are seeing a lot of patients who think they have a cold or sinus infection but in fact, are suffering from environmental allergies.
You are more than familiar with symptoms like coughing or sneezing but how about your throat?
Medical experts say a sore throat is more likely to be cold-related along with fever, body aches and yes, the color of your mucus: if it is not clear you’re likely to have an upper respiratory infection.
Dr. Glenn Williams, who is Medical Director for OhioHealth urgent care said with colds, symptomatic or supportive therapy is recommended.
“Over the counter nasal spray, saline nasal spray, decongestants, antihistamines, those are the typical go-to medications for symptom management of colds and upper respiratory infections,” he said.
If you have environmental allergies, Dr. Williams said the over the counter antihistamines and nasal steroids provide relief.
In terms of prevention, ask any expert and you’ll be told it begins with good hygiene in the form of thorough and frequent hand washing.

Conservation Corner: A flowering fall guy for autumn allergies

Conservation Corner: A flowering fall guy for autumn allergies

How many of you can feel your sinuses beginning to drip and your eyes getting misty just by glancing across a field awash with the yellow ubiquitous blooms of goldenrod? Nearly every section of the landscape not cultivated, mowed, or forested teems with thousands of goldenrod plants, and with all those flowers producing copious amounts of pollen, your worst autumn allergic reactions have probably already begun. Sound familiar?
I’ve heard conversations this time of year among allergy sufferers in the grocery store aisle as they debate what pill or potion might cure their symptoms caused by goldenrod.
Plants such as ragweed, pigweed, and grasses, and trees like oak, maples, and pines are all prolific producers of literally tons of tiny grains of pollen that float around on the breeze and get sucked up our snouts causing the irritation that leads to our bodies producing histamine and an allergic response.
Most of our plants that grow visible flowers are insect or animal pollinated and produce large, heavy grained pollen that sticks to their target pollinator. These pollen grains stay put until directly disturbed, and are responsible for very few allergy-like symptoms. If you fancy a walk through a field of goldenrod to test this theory, beware that ragweed and other wind-pollinating plants can grow in the same area, so go into it with an understanding you might still be sneezing upon your exit.
So hopefully, if your child, grandchild, or loved one brings you a bouquet of flowers including goldenrod blooms, you won’t run to the medicine cabinet for a dose of needless allergy meds! Goldenrod is an important source of food for many of our fall pollinators, especially the ones gearing up for migration, and it has too long played the plant patsy to ragweed in catching the blame for fall allergies.

Learn to recognize fall allergies

Learn to recognize fall allergies

Sneezing, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, scratchy throat and cough can be symptoms of fall allergies. Related sinus and nasal inflammation can lead to congestion and headaches, causing an overall feeling of miserableness.
“Weed pollen, predominantly ragweed, is the most common trigger for allergic symptoms in the fall,” said Hetal Amin, M.D., allergist-immunologist with Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers.
While effective when used correctly, many people mistake allergies for cold symptoms and may use the wrong medications.
“A treatment plan will offer avoidance measures, appropriate medications or long-term treatment options such as immunotherapy (allergy injections).
She also recommends limiting decongestant nasal sprays to five days, as they can cause “rebound congestion” and make symptoms worse.

Season of the itch: Treating pets’ allergies

Season of the itch: Treating pets’ allergies

Most of us think allergies show up as stuffiness, congestion, and puffy eyes, but this is not the case for our pets.
Just as in humans, these allergies are a lifelong commitment.
There are different ways to support our pets’ immune systems. As a result, veterinarians will slow down and reduce pets’ allergy signs. Over-the-counter products such as vitamin E and omega fatty acids will help support your pet’s skin as an effective barrier to allergies. Omega fatty acids can be found in many different forms, such as pills, capsules, oils or lotions to put on food, and topical lotions.
The results of severe seasonal allergies can cause chronic ear and skin infections, which lead to the itching, licking, and sleepless nights.
If your dog is having allergy issues, please contact your veterinarian for an evaluation and to discuss a treatment plan to get your furry friend on the way to feeling much needed relief from the itchiness.

SafeEats Food Allergy Club guides students

SafeEats Food Allergy Club guides students

. SafeEats is the new and improved version of the Food Allergy Support Group, as older students may remember it. Both women said they remembered how difficult eating on campus was for them during their first years on campus and how much the situation has improved for new students, especially since all dining staff were given allergy training this past summer.
“The main goal is to provide a supportive, safe and healthy environment for students on campus with food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities,” Chadwick said.
Until the club’s first meeting, officers will be brainstorming meeting ideas and planning club events.
The NC State director of nutrition and wellness, Lisa Eberhart, oversees SafeEats as their faculty advisor and occasionally makes a guest lecture appearance at meetings.
“As a dining diplomat I spoke to freshmen this summer during orientation about where to eat on campus and how to live without a kitchen,” Chadwick said.