Au­tumn allergy and si­nus sea­son is here

Walker County Messenger - - Front Page -

Are you snif­fling, sneez­ing and cough­ing? Au­tumn of­fi­cially be­gan last week, yet sea­sonal fall al­ler­gies have af­fected many around the Chat­tanooga re­gion for the past sev­eral weeks. Tif­fany Pot­ter, APRN-BC, FNP-C, from CHI Me­mo­rial Con­ve­nient Care – Cleve­land (Tenn.) has ad­vice for manag­ing com­mon allergy and si­nus symp­toms.

Si­nus symp­toms are ram­pant now that the rag­weed has bloomed. You should be­gin tak­ing a daily over-the-counter an­ti­his­tamine (as long as you do not have any liver dis­ease) if you have the fol­low­ing symp­toms: · runny nose · si­nus con­ges­tion (with or without headache)

· scratchy throat (es­pe­cially in the morn­ing) · itchy or wa­tery eyes · a mild cough Med­i­ca­tions that have ce­t­i­rizine, fex­ofe­na­dine, lo­rata­dine, or le­v­o­ce­t­i­rizine are good op­tions. For the best re­sult, take your an­ti­his­tamine daily in the early evening hours. This will al­low it time to work on si­nus drainage that has ac­cu­mu­lated dur­ing the day. Tak­ing an an­ti­his­tamine in the early evening hours may also help you avoid that scratchy morn­ing throat and morn­ing phlegm that col­lects while you sleep, which then drains into your chest as you are get­ting on with your day.

Now that school is back in ses­sion, we are see­ing a lo­cal of vi­ral cold symp­toms, which are sim­i­lar to allergy symp­toms. The com­mon cold does not re­quire an­tibi­otics, but can be re­lieved by manag­ing the symp­toms. Symp­toms are typ­i­cally worse be­tween days three to six, and can last up to 10 days. Over­the-counter si­nus and cold med­i­ca­tions can help pro­vide some re­lief un­til the cold runs its course.

Bac­te­rial si­nus in­fec­tions are not as com­mon as you might be­lieve. The color of the si­nus drainage does not nec­es­sar­ily in­di­cate bac­te­ria, but in­stead, a re­sponse of a healthy im­mune sys­tem. The color of the white blood cells that re­spond to in­flam­ma­tion have a green hue which cre­ates the green-yel­low color of mu­cus. The rec­om­men­da­tion is to hold off on an­tibi­otics for at least seven days af­ter the on­set of symp­toms. Pos­si­ble signs of an ac­tual si­nus in­fec­tion are: · fever · swelling of lymph nodes in the neck

· si­nus pres­sure when bend­ing for­ward · tooth or den­tal pain · bad breath or taste in your mouth

· ear full­ness and pres­sure

An­tibi­otics may be war­ranted if symp­toms per­sist be­yond seven to 10 days and less than four weeks.

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