Saturday, November 29, 2014: 2:10 am
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Allergies Q&A with nurse practioner Susan Lee


Susan Lee David Snodgress | INstride

MODERATOR: Good morning, everyone. Thanks for joining us for today's health chat. The topic is those dreaded summer allergies as ragweed really hits hard in August.

We've got Susan Lee, nurse practitioner with Southern Indiana Medical Group, here to answer your questions.

Susan: How are you doing this morning? Thanks for joining us. Are you ready to get started?

SUSAN LEE: Doing great!

Ready to get started


QUESTION: For a week or so I have not felt well. Headache, restricted nasal passages, dull headache, some nausea, tired and overal l" just feel lousy".

Does this sound like allergies? Cannot take some meds do to blood pressure.

william edward, bloomington

SUSAN LEE: Possibly-difficult to determine without examination-many of the same symptoms. There are otc medications that help allergies that will not affect your blood pressure--such as loratidine--check with your health care provider first. Nomal saline nasal irrigations are safe and may help the symptom of restricted nasal passages if allergy related.


QUESTION: It seems like I've had sinus issues since January this year. Is it a particularly bad year for that kind of stuff? Is there any end in sight? What is the best thing to consider to help my filled cheeks and dried nose?

Jess, Bloomington

SUSAN LEE: Yes it has been particularly bad this spring and summber. Allergies can be seasonal or yearly. Your symptoms wil disappear (or improve) when your are no longer exposed to what is causing the allergies. If you have yearly allergies may be from animals, dust mites etc. You might also try normal saline nasal irrigation for symptom relief.


QUESTION: I have dry eyes, and it gets much worse during allergy season. My prescription allergy medicine seems to help all other symptoms except this. Is there a medication or treatment specifically for dry eyes? Over-the-counter eye drops only help for a few minutes.

Brooke, Bloomington

SUSAN LEE: If you have tried the over the counter lubricant eye drops then try the over the counter antihistimine eye drops. Will have to use regularly during allergy season--if they are not working presciption eye drops are available from your provider


QUESTION: I recently found out I am pregnant and have always suffered from daily headaches due to my sinuses. Is there anything I can take besides claritin and nasal sprays to help? I always used excedrin migraine but cannot anymore. Thank you!

QuestionWondered, Bloomington

SUSAN LEE: You may have the double whammy of sinus congestion from allergies and the increased congestion that occurs naturally with pregancy. Loratidine (clariten) is safe during pregnancy as you know. Certain nasal sprays such as afrin can cause a rebound effect and make nasal stuffiness worse. You may want to try the normal saline nasal irrigation also as this does help clear the passages to mucus and may decrease irritation.


MODERATOR: Thanks everyone for all the great questions today.

Thank you also, Susan, for your time. Is there anything more you'd like to add, or any other advice for allergy sufferers?

SUSAN LEE: You are welcome. One last thought-two of the most common in door allergans (substances that produce allergy responses) are animal dander and dust mites. Since it is not always practical to get rid of a family pet and dust mites are always present, frequent sweeping of floors and furniture may help reduce allegans and therefore symptoms. Thank you



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