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Ah-Choo! Allergies & Heart Health

Weather, especially during the seasons where it feels great just to be outside, unfortunately comes with a burden. Allergies. Some people deal with them only during allergy season, some live with them all the time, and other people are just fortunate enough not to deal with them at all.

Allergy symptoms can include many things that can affect not only your heart but overall health, and of course make you feel overall lousy. These can include varying things such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, itchy skin, swelling of the mucus membranes and even gastrointestinal issues. The amount of time these symptoms last depends on the person, and it can sometimes be a short amount of time, or last for a few days.

Taking Control of Your Allergies

When it comes to health--and especially heart-health--taking care of seasonal allergies can be quite a task--but there are many solutions that can help. For starters, those with allergies can make an effort to:

  • check the pollen count regularly (this can be found in your local weather forecast or smartphone app),

  • invest in an air purifier (and keep windows closed on windy days)

  • dust your home and vacuum weekly

  • wash your bed sheets and pillowcases at least weekly

  • shower in the evening time (to wash off any pollen on the skin) and

  • ask your doctor about appropriate medications to relieve symptoms

What Medication Is Right For Me?

Allergy medications, especially OTC (over-the-counter), are something that you should speak to your pharmacist and/or physician about prior to taking, especially when you have a heart condition, as many of these medications can interact with heart medications or aggravate heart conditions.

For example, you should be careful of medications that have the letter "D" next to them. These medications include a form of decongestants in them that while effective in relieve a stuffy nose, can also raise your blood pressure. Therefore, you should look carefully for that letter when choosing OTC medicines as these can cause not only problems with blood flow but with also blood pressure.

"It is always important to discuss your medications with both your doctor and your pharmacist, so bring your medicines to your appointment or to the pharmacy. Sharing your list of over-the-counter medications is critical as this is often missed during routine office visits." states Dr.Richard Krasuski, MD, director of adult congenital heart disease services at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

By taking the right precautions and some preparation, you do not need to let allergies slow you down. So go on--go ahead and enjoy the great deserve it!


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