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Untimely Allergy Season Underscores the Benefits of Testing

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Are you a victim of allergies?

Are you far from being your usually healthy and chipper self?  Are your sinuses clogged and sore?  Are your eyes watering so it looks like you’ve been crying for days? How about your nose; it is running like the Danube river? Are you sneezing all the time but don’t have a cold? If so, that may not be a cold you’re contending with.  An unusually damp late summer and early fall, combined with an unusually mild winter thus far has resulted in a significant amount of pollen in the air that typically doesn’t arrive until spring.  The result is a lot of misery for a lot of people who have been caught off guard

With one out of every five Americans suffering from some type of allergy, if they find out what’s causing it the allergy is almost always treatable. While it may take awhile to pinpoint the source of the irritant, it is almost always possible to get relief by either staying away from it or taking some type of medication to prevent the symptoms.

Many allergies are genetic and are passed down from generation to generation and can include everything from mold and mildew to flowers, animals, the weather, food, smog, medication and latex gloves to name only a few. Did you know if one of your parents had allergies that increases the chance 30 percent that you will have them too at some point in your life? If both parents suffer or suffered from allergies the chance that their children will have them jumps to a whopping 60 percent.

Historically, when people have an airborne allergy it almost always affects their head and what otherwise might be a cold, isn’t. Allergic reactions can be classified as those that occur when the immune system encounters and overreacts to substances that are not genuinely harmful. According to the Nasonex website people who are susceptible to nasal allergies have immune systems that react to an airborne allergy by creating an antibody called immunoglobulin. This antibody fights the airborne substance but it also creates inflammation which ends up as that stuffy feeling in your head.

Asthma may be tied to allergies. According to researchers at the National Institute of Health, more than half of all current asthma cases can be attributed to allergies.

Unfortunately, during certain times of the year many different types of pine trees emit allergens that affect many people living in or visiting the mountains. Naturally the Santa Ana winds, which usually appear in southern California in October and November, can wreak havoc on people who suffer from plant or tree airborne allergens.  Surprisingly, we have already experienced Santa Ana conditions in recent weeks.

Fortunately many people can cope with and/or be relieved of their allergic reactions by having allergy testing performed through their physician. Knowing what you’re allergic to goes a long, long way in being able to manage outbreaks and making life, on the whole, a lot more pleasant. Being tested for allergies is easy and it gives you the choice to stay away from the substance(s) causing the sneezing, stuffiness, rash or other symptoms or, particularly in the case of food allergies, giving into temptation and accepting the risks involved with having a reaction. Testing is well worth the investment of time and money.

For information and to find a physician in the mountains who can help with allergy testing, contact Mountains Community Hospital at (909) 336-3651. The hospital is located at 29191 Hospital Road in Lake Arrowhead.

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