《声音》启明星专刊 VOICES for Daystar Academy VOICES Spring/Summer Edition 2019 - Page 32

HEALTH CORNER SPRING IS HERE! STAY AHEAD OF HAY FEVER By Lucy Luo, Beijing United Family Hospital F or many, spring is a time of joy and rejuvenation. For a significant portion of the population, however, it’s a time of misery, itchiness, and discomfort. This spring, learn how to be proactive about your hay fever and ease your springtime suffering. Dr. Lucy Gao, Section Chief of Beijing United Family Hospital’s (BJU’s) Department of Family Medicine, explains. How does hay fever differ from other respiratory illnesses? Symptoms of hay fever can include: ●Stuffy nose, runny nose, or sneezing a lot; ●Itchy or red eyes; and ●Sore throat or itching of the throat or ears. Some of these symptoms, such as stuffy nose, runny nose, or sneezing, are very similar to those of the common cold. But itchy or red eyes and itching of the throat or ears are typical symptoms for hay fever. Patients with hay fever usually do not cough, unless they develop hyperactivity of the bronchi or asthma due to allergy. Are there any pre-emptive measures I can take before hay fever season arrives? Yes. Some people can prevent symptoms by starting their medicine a week or two before hay fever season arrives. Is there anything hay fever sufferers can do on a day- to-day basis to relieve symptoms? What substances are there in the Beijing air that can cause hay fever? Hay fever is an allergic inflammation of the nasal airways caused by grass pollens. Hay fever can also be called seasonal allergies. Symptoms occur only at certain times of the year. Most seasonal allergies are caused by: ●Pollens from trees, grasses, or weeds (figure 1); or ●Mold spores, which grow when the weather is humid, wet, or damp. In Beijing, many people get hay fever in the springtime, when pollens from many trees and grasses spread in the air. In autumn, there are other different trees and grasses that produce different pollens, which can also bring an onset of hay fever. Daystar Academy Spring/Summer Edition 2019 You can help prevent symptoms by avoiding the things you are allergic to. For example, people who are allergic to pollen can: ●Stay inside during the times of the year when they have symptoms; ●Keep their car and house windows closed and use air conditioning instead; ●Take a shower before bed to rinse pollen off their hair and skin; ●Wear a dust mask if they need to be outside; and ●Use a vacuum with a special HEPA filter to keep indoor air as clean as possible. What are some over-the-counter (OTC) medications I can use for my hay fever? People with hay fever might use one or more of the following OTC medications to help reduce their symptoms: ●Nose rinses – Rinsing out the nose with salt water cleans the inside of the nose and gets rid of pollen in