1365 C-1 Westgate Ctr. Dr. Winston-Salem, NC 27103 Phone: (336) 768-6682

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SPRING 2008 Newsletter

Family Care offers you complete family care services.

Helping you stay healthy.

Spring has once again arrived along with the usual warm weather medical issues.

Hay Fever

With warm weather, the pollen counts are rising.  Spring allergies are off to a big start this year.  Lack of rainfall actually seems to have increased some pollen types such as trees and grasses.  As you begin your spring rituals of mowing and yard work, you may lessen the impact of these pollens by wearing a lightweight mask to filter out pollens.  If you have high blood pressure, avoid over-the-counter medications for nasal congestion, which can interfere with the effectiveness of your blood pressure medication.  Any medication which contains pseudoephedrine may elevate your blood pressure.  In addition avoid nasal sprays such as Afrin which contain oxymetazoline.  Not only can these elevate your blood pressure, but prolonged use, even for as little as 5 or 6 days, can cause dependency.  Your body learns to depend on the spray, and you have congestion that won’t respond to just about any medication.  The only way to break the dependency is to go off the spray “cold turkey.”  There are prescription nasal sprays and oral medications that can control your nasal congestion without affecting your blood pressure and without causing dependency. 

Asthma sufferers also experience a spike in their symptoms with the increased pollen, so make sure your asthma medications are up-to-date.

Yard Safety

Wear work gloves to protect your hands while doing yard work to prevent cuts and scratches as well as to protect your skin from the ravages of chemical irritation from yard chemicals and sprays.  Wear eye protection when mowing or weed eating.  Clear mowing areas of sticks and rocks to prevent bystander injury from these being hit by the mower blade and becoming projectiles.  Keep bystanders at least 100 feet away from your mower as much as possible.  Children under 14 should never be allowed to ride a riding lawn mower as a driver or a passenger.  And don’t forget your sunscreen (at least SPF 15) as you increase your time outside.

Because spring temperatures are lower than summer temperatures, it is easy to neglect hydration as you do your spring chores, so make sure to take frequent water breaks and get out of the sun to avoid heat exhaustion.

Have a safe and healthy spring!

Eldon S. Beard, M.D.

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