Eskenazi Health provides valuable information on symptoms and treatments

Indianapolis, Sept. 6, 2017 – As the days gradually grow shorter and the temperatures become a little cooler, millions throughout the nation dread the unpleasantness of suffering through their annual battle with fall allergies.

From a symptom standpoint, late summer and early fall often are the worst for allergy sufferers.  Fall allergies cause many to experience a runny nose, sneezing and coughing, along with itchy and watery eyes.

Allergies occur when someone’s immune system reacts to a foreign substance. Doctors say ragweed is the biggest allergy trigger in the fall. A single plant can produce 1 billion pollen grains per season, and ragweed grows abundantly throughout the South, North and Midwest.

Hay fever is a general term to describe the symptoms of late summer allergies and ragweed is a common cause of hay fever. About 75 percent of people who are allergic to spring plants are also allergic to ragweed. It is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies.

Lingering warm weather, which causes mold spores to be released; fall leaves; and school allergens, such as chalk dust and classroom pets, also contribute to fall allergies.

Dust mites found in your home can also cause fall allergies to kick into high gear. While mites are commonly found during humid summer months, turning on the heat in the fall can trigger them to stir, causing sneezes, wheezes and runny noses.

While most allergies can't be cured, a number of strategies can help relieve allergy symptoms. Below are some helpful tips to make the fall allergy season more bearable for severe sufferers:

  • Shower frequently to remove pollen from skin and hair
  • Keep windows closed
  • Dry clothes inside in the dryer instead of hanging clothes outside
  • Remove decaying leaves from the yard and gutters
  • Wear a face mask when raking leaves

It’s wise to use a high-efficiency particulate arresting HEPA filter in your heating system to remove pollen, mold and other particles from the air. Also consider staying inside with doors and windows shut when pollen is at its peak in late morning or midday.

You can buy some allergy medications over-the-counter in an effort to lessen the effects of fall allergies, but consult with your physician to make sure you get the right one. If the symptoms do not improve after seeing a primary care doctor, a person is then referred to an allergy clinic for skin testing to determine the allergens causing the reaction.

Medication prescribed by a physician, such as a nasal spray and/or an oral medicine, typically can ease symptoms. For severe cases, allergy shots may be necessary.


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For nearly 160 years, Eskenazi Health has provided high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered health care to the residents of Marion County and Central Indiana. Accredited by The Joint Commission, nationally recognized programs include a Level I trauma center, regional burn center, comprehensive senior care program, women’s and children’s services, teen and adolescent care programs, Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health, and a network of primary care sites located throughout the neighborhoods of Indianapolis known as Eskenazi Health Center. In partnership with the Regenstrief Institute, Eskenazi Health conducts groundbreaking work that informs health information technology around the globe. Eskenazi Health also serves as the sponsoring hospital for Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services. As the public hospital division of the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County (HHC), Eskenazi Health partners with the Indiana University School of Medicine whose physicians provide a comprehensive range of primary and specialty care services. In December 2013, Eskenazi Health moved to its new main campus and opened the brand new Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital. The new modern and efficient facility is Central Indiana’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold health care campus and offers unique features like a one-of-a-kind sky farm and extensive art collection. The Eskenazi Health Foundation was the recipient of $40 million gift from Indianapolis couple Sidney and Lois Eskenazi to assist with building the brand new hospital facilities. HHC recognized this generous gift by naming the new hospital and health system in the Eskenazis’ honor.

CONTACT: Tom Surber
Phone: 317.880.4793
Cell: 317.402.9327
Pager: 317.310.5972

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