Allergies are for real
Appeal Staff Writer
The effects of allergies on the human body are nothing to sneeze at.
With symptoms ranging from hives to an itchy, runny nose to sneezing and congestion, allergies affect one in every three people and with some, bring on asthma. Allergies are an overreaction of the body’s immune system.
The most common year-round allergies include dog, cat and horse. Seasonal allergies include trees – cedar, alder and cottonwood, and in Northern Nevada, piñon, said Dr. Stuart Stoloff.
“We’re having our worst season for rabbit brush, thistle and sagebrush, which happens to be the state flower,” Stoloff said. “This year is bad because we never had a winter.”
But what is thought to be allergies by many, is simply nonallergic rhinitis – where a person demonstrates sensitivity, much of which depends on environment.
“Allergic rhinitis affects close to 70 million people a year,” he said. “It’s exceedingly common and hereditary.”
He advises those who are affected by barometric change, inhalants, cleaners and other odors, and have nasal congestion and sore throat, may not have allergies, but non-allergic rhinitis. The only way to determine an allergy is through specific testing – skin prick or blood testing.
“Things to look at in allergic patients is their skin; skin is an allergic site. It looks dry, like with eczema, and there is itching. And the eyes. People look like they have dark, shiny skin on their lower eye area.”
Five-year-old Dominick Hevener has asthma. He said Stoloff helps him to not cough as much as he used to.
“He helps me breathe better,” Dominick said.
Born premature to Kirsten and Jeff Hevener, of Dayton, Dominick has had lung problems since birth, Kirsten said.
“He does seem to be more sensitive during the springtime,” Hevener said. “But Dr. Stoloff has been wonderful in treating him.
“He’s on a daily nebulizer treatment called Pulmacort. It has helped tremendously.”
Stoloff, who has been in practice in Carson City for 29 years, advises those with allergies to not sleep with their window open; use central air if available; or a ceiling fan, but without the window open.
“The best treatment (for allergies) is an intranasal corticosteroid,” he said. “If you know when your seasonal allergies begin, begin using the medication two weeks before, throughout your season and discontinue after your season.”
Stoloff said the main symptom of “allergies” is congestion. The person may also feel tired and miserable. Newborns up to the age of 2 commonly have food allergies, not aero allergies.
Hevener said Dominick is feeling better with his current method of treatment, and hopes soon he will be like a “regular” 5-year-old.
• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1223.