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What's Going Around - 3/28

March 28, 2011

This week, we're checking in with Martha Jefferson doctor Louisa Hann at Blue Ridge Internal Medicine in Charlottesville. She says allergic rhinitis, commonly referred to as hay fever, is what's going around.

Hay fever is an allergic inflammation of the nasal airway that occurs when an allergen (pollen or dust) is inhaled by someone with a sensitized immune system, and triggers antibody production.

Symptoms include runny nose, itchy mouth, throat and ears, sneezing and fatigue. There's no specific time-line for how long the symptoms can last.

Dr. Hann recommends taking a nasal steroid spray, non-drowsy antihistamines, decongestants and eye drops. For symptoms that persist, she suggests contacting your doctor.

Not only are we checking on common illnesses, we're keeping track of important reminders about allergies. Dr. Hann is encouraging people with life threatening allergies (called anaphylaxis) and carry an epinephrine auto-injector to make sure your medication is renewed yearly so that it does not expire.

She also recommends keeping one at home, work, school and when you go out.

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