Achoo! Achoo! ...Spring Is Here!

Achoo! Achoo! ...Spring Is Here!

By Arturo Gastanaduy, MD.

A & G Pediatrics

Click aqui para español- >¡Atchis, Atchis! ¡La primavera ha llegado!

Green lawns, full bloom trees and multicolor flowers bring the pleasant sound of birds singing telling us that spring is here. However, we also will be hearing lots of sneezing, pointing out that allergic rhinitis (AR) season has also come back.

Allergic rhinitis is very common, especially in young people, affecting close to 20% of children and adolescents. It is more frequent in boys than girls and in persons with family history of allergies and maternal smoking. People with AR have three times more chances of developing asthma.

The illness is caused by hypersensitivity reaction of the nasal mucosa to foreign substances (allergens). Re-exposure produces an immediate reaction that produces vasodilation, mucosal swelling, increased mucus secretion and increased sneezing. Classical symptoms are itchy, congested nose, profuse and clear nasal discharge, frequent sneezing, loss of sense of smell, and itchy, red, teary eyes.

It is not a life-threatening illness, but it produces adverse effects on the quality of life of affected persons. It has been associated with sinus infections, asthma attacks, disturbed sleep, snoring, tiredness, poor school performance, puffy dark circles under eyes, mouth breathing, dental malocclusion, and transversal nasal crease.

Historically, allergic rhinitis was classified as seasonal or perennial. Seasonal was usually caused by tree, grass or ragweed pollens while perennial was caused by indoor allergens, like animal dander, house dust mites and mold spores. The World Health Organization has classified AR based on duration of symptoms as intermittent (<4 days/week or <4 weeks/year) and, persistent (>4 days/week or >4 weeks/year). This classification is more helpful to develop a management plan. Diagnosis of AR is based on medical history and physical exam, and occasionally specific tests are needed. AR is a chronic condition and there is no cure for it; nevertheless, it can be controlled, resulting in better quality of life of affected individuals.

Every person is unique, and the symptoms are variable, therefore, treatment must be individualized and may need to be modified. Do not expect a “magic pill” from the doctor, but instead ask for a treatment plan and how to evaluate it. Most likely, the plan will include changes at home and of life style to decrease exposure to allergens, some medications like nasal corticosteroids, non-sedating oral antihistamines, etc.

Most of the patients can be managed by their primary care doctor. Sometimes referral to an allergist may be necessary.

Arturo Gastanaduy MD F.A.A.P

Writer/ Escritor Wellness

A & G Pediatrics

Peru

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Publisher's Note

Spring Fest Time

With the warmer days ahead, everyone is ready to soak up some sun and get back to the outdoors.

Music is the center of it all. We prepare our wallets to support us during every festival coming up that brings the talented musicians on-stage and the food vendors to serve their signature creations. This month is the third edition of Top Taco, an event that has grown exponentially each time.

This event, that takes place on March 14th this year, has become a great avenue for restaurants and their business owners and for the promotion of mezcal and tequila brands. Latino cooks and restaurateurs have been able to connect to the New Orleans community, and Top Taco has allowed exposure to many restaurants, including little mom and pop's that otherwise American residents of New Orleans would have never known.

With Agave Week happening March 10th to March 14th and its tasting events, seminars and parties at the ACE Hotel, Top Taco is sure becoming a New Orleans signature event. We are excited about its growth because it gives visibility to the growing Latino community and some of its great culture.

 Enjoy the wonderful Spring events and don't forget to tag VIVA NOLA in all your pictures!

AnaMaria