Mercy Health Provides Top 10 Tips for Surviving Allergy Season

(CINCINNATI; April 17, 2014) – As if this winter’s polar vortex wasn’t bad enough, spring has sprung and with it has come a phenomenon known as the pollen vortex, promising extra misery for Greater Cincinnati’s allergy sufferers. Our long, drawn-out winter has pushed tree flowering behind schedule, leading to a massive pollen dump rather than the usual slow trickle. While many of us can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather, the advent of spring for those who suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis sees them greeting the season with a box of tissues and more than a little bit of dread.

“While many people think seasonal allergies just consist of sneezing and itchy eyes, allergies can include much more problematic and disruptive symptoms, such as headaches, sinus issues, nasal congestion and coughing,” says Mercy Health Physician Kathleen Bridges, MD. “Dry, windy days make matters worse, scattering tree and grass pollen in all directions, while drenching spring rains send the mold count soaring. The simplest – and best – recourse for treating allergies is often one of the most difficult adjustments for people to make after a winter cooped-up indoors – controlling their environment.”

Mercy Health, which provides advanced, compassionate, quality care in your neighborhood through its care network, and Dr. Bridges suggest that following the tips below might help you find some relief from your allergy symptoms:

1. Postpone outdoor activities until later in the morning, since most pollen emission happens between 5-10 a.m.
2. Keep your windows closed and use air conditioning, even on pleasant spring nights
3. Stay indoors when the pollen count or humidity is high and on windy days when dust and pollen are blowing about
4. When driving, keep the windows up and turn on the air conditioning
5. Don’t hang your laundry out to dry - allergens will collect on them
6. Do not mow the lawn or rake the leaves without a filter mask
7. Wash bedding weekly in hot water
8. Shower and wash your hair every night before going to bed
9. Remove visible mold with non-toxic cleaning products
10. Plan a vacation during the height of the pollen season to a more pollen-free area, such as the beach 

Even after taking these precautions, many people need to use allergy medications to help get through the worst of the season. To find a medication that’s right for you, check with your primary care doctor for recommendations. If your allergies persist, your doctor may suggest you see an allergist to determine which allergens are causing your reactions. With that information in hand, your doctor can develop an effective, personalized allergy treatment plan just for you.

Dr. Bridges sees patients at Mercy Health - Red Bank Family Medicine, located at 4760 Red Bank Road, Suite 104 in Cincinnati, ZIP 45227-1549. Call 513-271-4488 to learn more about Dr. Bridges or to schedule an appointment with her.

To find a Mercy Health physician in your neighborhood, or to learn about the services provided at Mercy Health, please visit http://www.e-mercy.com/physicians.asp or call 513-981-2222.

Mercy Health makes advanced, compassionate, quality healthcare easy to help you be well in mind, body and spirit. Mercy Health has been serving Greater Cincinnati for more than 160 years. Mercy Health provides an integrated network of leading physicians, compassionate caregivers, comprehensive services and exceptional care at more than 140 locations across the region. The Mercy Health network of care includes five award-winning hospitals, senior living communities, primary care and specialty physician practices, outpatient centers, social service agencies, fitness centers and a variety of outreach programs. Mercy Health hospitals have earned national Truven Health Analytics’ 100 Top Hospitals honors more times than all other Cincinnati hospitals combined, placing them among the best hospitals in the nation. Truven has also named Mercy Health as one of the nation’s Top 15 health systems. Mercy Health is part of Catholic Health Partners - the largest health system in Ohio and fourth largest employer. To learn more visit, e-mercy.com and engage in the conversation via Mercy Health’s social media channels (@mercy_health on Twitter and Mercy Health on Facebook).