Clinic Offers Allergy Sufferers Relief this Spring
(April 29, 2010)
- Are you coughing, sneezing or itching? Spring is in full bloom, the pollen count is up and "allergy season" has begun. The Ogden Clinic, a
physician-owned multi-specialty group practice in Northern Utah encourages those with seasonal allergies to take extra precaution this spring to avoid
developing sinus infections.
In Utah an estimated one in three Utahns are affected by seasonal allergies each year. The number affected is on the rise, especially among young
"The number of people with allergies is increasing due to a decrease in outdoor activity. Limited exposure to outdoor antigens prevents the immune
system developing tolerance to these antigens and allergies result," says Dr. Nadim Bikhazi, ear, nose and throat specialist at Ogden Clinic. "Utah's
hot, dry environment accompanied by wind and low humidity provide the perfect conditions for allergic irritations. These conditions will continue until
the first frost in October-November with pollen counts peaking several times."
Classic seasonal allergy symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, itching in the nose, throat, eyes, ears and roof of the mouth. More severe cases
include rashes, hives, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing and asthmas attacks.
Those with allergies should correctly treat their symptoms or infection may occur. Chronic symptoms such as runny nose, difficulty breathing,
congestion and poor sleep should be a concern, especially in children, and a physician should be consulted. They can recommend the proper medications
and prevent infections.
"An estimated 30-40 million people, 10 percent of the population, visit out patient care for sinus infections," states Bikhazi. "Remember rapid
treatment for short durations can provide relief, but sinuses need to drain and ventilate or symptoms will relapse." Bikhazi notes ear, nose, and
throat (ENT) physicians are best qualified to provide comprehensive nasal care for allergy sufferers.
Remedies have improved over the past five years. These include medication as well as preventative at-home measures. Medications may include
over-the-counter antihistamines, nasal steroids and leukotriene inhibitors. Leukotriene treatment reduces inflammation by blocking the action of
leukotrienes, the chemical your body releases after contact with allergens. It was first used to treat asthma, but now provides relief for seasonal
allergies as well, especially to those with asthma. Sinus irrigation (the cleansing of the nasal passages) is also an effective in treating chronic
Allergy shots have been the mainstay of desensitization therapy for years but more recently sublingual immunotherapy (drops under the tongue) has
allowed children and adults who fear shots to receive effective treatment.
To help control symptoms at home:
Keep windows closed at night to prevent pollen entering the home.
Reduce outdoor activity from five to 10 a.m. when pollen counts are higher, especially on breezy mornings.
Frequently wash and steam bedding, drapery and carpets.
Stay indoors on windy days when pollen counts are high.
Keep car windows closed when driving.
Do not dry clothing outside to protect against collection of pollen and mold.
Triggered by pollen from trees, weeds and grasses, an estimated 60 million people in the U.S. are affected by allergic rhinitis (seasonal allergies)
according to the AmericanAcademy of Allergy and Asthma and Immunology. More than 40 percent of children, a total of 35 million children overall, have
allergies. Each year the Center for Disease and Control estimate that allergies account for more than 17 million outpatient office visits; primarily in
the spring and fall. Seasonal allergies account for more than half of allergy visits.
For more information visit www.ogdenclinic.com or call 801.475.3086