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Welcome to The FWCS Visionary: A public blog and monthly newsletter brought to you by the Public Affairs Department and designed to provide you with news about Fort Wayne Community Schools. This is the inaugural year for this new information outlet and, as such, it may change shape and form as it grows into a resource we hope you find useful and fun. If you have any suggestions for what you would like to see in the outlet, please contact Public Affairs. We would be thrilled to hear what you want to see.

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Monday, April 02, 2018

Health Corner: Coping with spring allergies

Spring flower with pollen

Ahhhhh, spring!

April showers. May flowers.

Runny noses. Itchy eyes.

More like achoo, spring!

Spring allergies, if you or your child suffer from them, are no joke.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to reduce your child’s, or your own, suffering.

The Mayo Clinic offers up some pointers to reduce exposure, as well as at-home remedies to try.

To reduce your exposure to allergens, the Mayo Clinic recommends:  

  • Stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
  • Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
  • Remove clothes you’ve worn outside and shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
  • Don’t hang laundry outside — pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
  • Wear a pollen mask if you do outside chores. 

Several types of nonprescription medications can help ease allergy symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, these include: 

Sick child blowing nose
  • Oral antihistamines.Antihistamines can help relieve sneezing, itching, a runny nose and watery eyes. Examples of oral antihistamines include loratadine (Claritin, Alavert), cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy) and fexofenadine (Allegra Allergy).
  • Oral decongestants such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, Afrinol, others) can provide temporary relief from nasal stuffiness. Decongestants also come in nasal sprays, such as oxymetazoline (Afrin) and phenylephrine (Neo-Synephrine). Only use nasal decongestants for a few days in a row. Longer-term use of decongestant nasal sprays can actually worsen symptoms (rebound congestion).
  • Nasal spray. Cromolyn sodium nasal spray can ease allergy symptoms and doesn’t have serious side effects, though it’s most effective when you begin using it before your symptoms start.
  • Combination medications.Some allergy medications combine an antihistamine with a decongestant. Examples include loratadine-pseudoephedrine (Claritin-D) and fexofenadine-pseudoephedrine (Allegra-D).

 

And, if at-home remedies don’t work, it may be time to see a doctor, “If you have bad seasonal allergies, your doctor may recommend that you have skin tests or blood tests to find out exactly what allergens trigger your symptoms. Testing can help determine what steps you need to take to avoid your specific triggers and identify which treatments are likely to work best for you,” according to the clinic.

For additional resources on allergies, check out the Mayo Clinic’s website here or the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America by visiting www.aafa.org.

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