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Tag Archives: cold-like symptoms

Did Santa Bring You a Cold for the Holiday? You’re Not Alone!

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If you get a nasty cold this holiday season you’re not alone because almost one billion people worldwide will have a cold similar to yours and at about the same time.

“The holidays” are fun, hectic and exciting but they can also be so much fun that people’s resistance is lowered and the next thing they know they have a holiday cold to beat all colds. While the holiday season is the most hectic time of year for many people there are ways to avoid getting sick, which often is the end result of a weakened immune system brought on by too much holiday play or stress, or both.

Unfortunately, while cures have been found for countless illnesses, a cure for the common cold remains elusive. With most people experiencing two to four colds per year this illness can result in thousands of lost days of work as well as misery for those who are experiencing them.

Still no cure yet for the common cold. So how should you handle it?

According to an article written by family physician, Dr. Rallie McAllister in The Paramus Post, taking the herb Echinacea and/or zinc may help prevent colds, a subject long debated in the medical world.

Referring to astudy conducted at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, Dr. McAllister notes that cold suffers who used 13.3 milligrams of zinc lozenges every two to three hours cut the length of their symptoms in half compared to those who took placebo lozenges. Like the herb Echinacea, zinc appears to raise the body’s immune system by keeping the cold virus from latching onto cells in the respiratory track. The article stated that people who took Echinacea before the onset of a cold  have a better chance of avoiding one because researchers believe it not only helps the body’s immune system but it reportedly can help reduce the symptoms by several days if the person comes down with a cold.

Colds are spread by germs from person to person by sneezing or shaking hands with someone who has, or is about to unknowingly get a cold. They can also be spread by people blowing their nose into a tissue, covering a sneeze or touching their nose. Children, of course, are great “incubators” for cold viruses. Dr. McAllister said that as early as an hour after cold viruses have infected the lining of a nose and throat the cells begin to release chemicals and these chemicals swell the mucus membranes which then leads to nasal congestion and stuffiness. Voila! You have a cold!

Remember, your Mountains Community Hospital physician is always available and the hospital’s website, has valuable information on a variety of topics to help keep you and your family safe.


Allergies Got You Down?

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Girl blowing a dandelion

Season allergies are more than inconvenient to those who suffer from them.

It’s that time of year again. Is your nose watering? How about those itchy eyes? Well, summer’s here and so are many allergens. Living and traveling up and down the mountain highways can affect a person’s nasal passages. And, with that, comes some problems. While many people are unaffected by the brightly colored Spanish Broom that grows along mountain highways, other people are very sensitive to its pollen.

Often, during the spring and early summer, vehicles and anything else left outdoors may be covered with a thin layer of yellow dust that travels in the wind. While the forest service has cut a lot of the “non-native species noxious weed” over the past two years along Highway 330 and Highway 18, there’s still plenty of pollen throughout the area. While the yellow flowers are beautiful and fragrant, many people are allergic to the bright yellow blooms.

Some signs of allergic reactions (regardless of the source) are: a runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion and sneezing. Allergy symptoms can be at their worst when people are outside enjoying the fresh air at concerts, barbecues or other outdoor events. Symptoms erupt when the patient comes into contact with an “allergy trigger.” When this occurs, the body produces higher levels of certain substances, including histamines. Medications that help relieve symptoms include anti-histamines, which are available over-the-counter or, if symptoms are severe enough, by prescription.

According to, medical specialists don’t ordinarily do skin tests for pine tree allergies because this condition is quite rare. With millions of pine trees in the inhabited San Bernardino Mountain communities, it’s good that pine tree pollen allergies are less common than those that spring from other sources. If pine tree pollen is suspected, the patient may have to search to find a physician who can perform a skin test. However, if the physician and patient believe this test would be beneficial, pine tree extract for testing can be obtained by most doctors.

Skin testing for allergies has been around for quite awhile. Tests will reveal what allergies, if any, are present. Not all runny noses, congestion and other “cold-like” symptoms mean allergies. However, when they re-occur with every spring and/or summer, chronic allergies are something to consider. While there are many allergens that affect people, some of the most well known are pollen from grasses (especially newly-mowed grass), weeds, trees, outdoor mold spores, and animal dander as well as dust mites. Summer in the mountains is an exciting time. So doesn’t let allergies slow you down. Take control of them by finding out what they are so you can enjoy the great outdoors.