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Mercy specialist offers allergy-coping advice

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News and Features - Around Washington, MO
Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Sarah Field, MDDespite some chilly days in March, spring is already in air, and allergy season is now – and progressing.

"Even though it looks dreary outside, tree pollen typically begins to emerge in February, that's why we tell our patients to start their allergy medications early," said Sarah Samimi Field, MD, a specialist in allergy and immunology. "If you're allergic to pollens from grasses, trees and weeds, your symptoms could worsen as the season progresses, and pollen is stubborn. Just as you see it on your car, windows and patio furniture, it is likely on you as well, and it gets tracked into your home."

Typical seasonal allergy symptoms include itchy nose and eyes, sneezing, stuffy nose and runny nose. People with asthma may experience increased coughing or wheezing. How people react depends on how severe their allergies are.

Dr. Field recommends that people with seasonal allergies run the air conditioning, keep their windows closed at home, work and in the car, change their home air filter frequently and shower before bed to wash pollens away. She also recommends using over-the-counter medications to ease symptoms rather than avoid outdoor activities.

"The ultimate goal is for people with seasonal allergies to go outside and enjoy the weather and everything the outdoors has to offer," Dr. Field said.  "There is no cure for allergies, but with the right treatment, you can go outside and have fun."

She added, "There are a lot of great over-the-counter medications available, but they don't work for everyone. If they don't work for you, or you're having increased sinus infections, or your asthma symptoms seem to be out of control, then it’s time to talk to your doctor or see a specialist who can offer treatments with the most benefits and the least side effects."

Dr. Field is board certified in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, she sees both children and adults. Her office is located in Suite 208 in the St. John's Mercy Medical Building, 851 E. Fifth Street in Washington. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 636-432-0111.


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