ARE THESE ALLERGY SYMPTOMS OR SOMETHING ELSE ?
By now everyone is familiar with the warning signs of COVID-19, which are fever, fatigue and a dry cough. Sometimes, it also causes cold-like symptoms like a runny nose. During allergy season, it may be hard to tell the difference between COVID-19 and allergies.
While allergies are sometimes called "hay fever" they don’t really give you a fever, but they do cause a runny nose, a dry scratchy cough and fatigue. These symptoms happen partly because of inflammation, which occurs when your body overreacts to allergens like pollen or mold. If your runny nose comes with itchy or watery eyes and congestion, it's probably allergies. But if you are experiencing fever, body aches, very sore throat, fatigue that comes on quickly, or gastrointestinal problems like nausea or diarrhea, it could be signs of COVID-19. If you have any of these symptoms, especially a fever, call your doctor. If you get allergies every year, watch out for symptoms that are different from what you’ve had before.
Severe allergies can make you can feel tightness in your chest and be short of breath, especially if you have asthma, too. But these can also be emergency symptoms of COVID-19. If you aren’t sure or you haven’t been diagnosed with asthma, call your doctor or 911 right away.
It is possible to have allergies and a viral infection at the same time. If you have classic allergy problems like itchy eyes and a runny nose, but also have COVID-19 symptoms like exhaustion and a fever, call your doctor.
In the midst of a virus outbreak, it may be hard to get to a clinic for allergy treatment, but Allergy & Immunology Health Services remains open and here to help. Call 440-779-1112 today to schedule an appointment.
You are at the heart of all we do at Allergy & Immunology Health Services. Your health and wellness is our top priority. As the COVID-19 outbreak begins to have a greater impact on our community, we wanted to share with you the steps we are taking to keep our patients as well as staff safe and healthy.
We have and continue to monitor all CDC and local health authorities for updates on COVID-19. With that said, we are screening patient calls to determine the symptoms our patients are experiencing so we can best handle patients with known symptoms of COVID-19. If you are calling to schedule an appointment and have any of those known symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) we ask that you advise us of that so that we can relay the information to Dr. Panuto and determine your risk level before coming in.
Patients that we see in the office that are exhibiting any symptoms such as those mentioned along with sneezing will be asked to put a mask on so as not to expose staff or other patients to any illness. We also ask that you not bring guests to your appointment if possible, to help limit the number of people in the waiting room.
We have taken additional measures as recommended by the government agencies such as:
- Staff will try and keep a safe distance from patients whenever possible.
- We are regularly cleaning and disinfecting counters, computers, devices, waiting areas, and other spaces where public interaction occurs with a disinfectant.
- We have placed alcohol based hand sanitizer next to the checkout window so people can sanitize their hands after using common items.
- We have removed any magazines, and toys from all waiting room areas to help stop any spread of the virus.
- We have asked our staff to self-monitor and stay home if they are not feeling well, especially if they have a fever, cough or shortness of breath.
- Staff is routinely washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Our offices continue to be open to serve you and we are working proactively to respond to this evolving situation.
Your team at Allergy & Immunology Health Services
Spring is Around the Corner
Be prepared - Pollen counts slowly rise each year. Make an appointment with your allergist now, and you'll be well on your way to relief before symptoms start.
Treat before you sneeze - Start your allergy medication well before the first sneeze. Allergists recommend you begin treating two weeks before your symptoms typically surface, so don’t wait until your miserable, beat pollen to the punch.
Know your pollen - Allergists advise sufferers to know which pollen they are sensitive to and then check pollen counts. In spring and summer, during tree and grass pollen season, levels are highest in the evening. In late summer and early fall, during ragweed pollen season, levels are highest in the morning. Avoid the outdoors during those times, if possible.
Mild winter may mean more pollen, molds, and weeds - A mild winter may cause an early release of pollen from certain trees, and a longer season may be worsened by the priming effect. Once allergy sufferers are exposed to this early pollen, their immune system is primed to react to the allergens, meaning there will be little relief even if temperatures cool down before spring is in full bloom. If weather reports call for a streak of warm days, begin taking your medication.
April showers bring more misery - Not only will April showers bring more flowers, but it might also cause more symptoms for spring allergy sufferers. Rain can promote plant and pollen growth. Wind accompanying rainfall can stir pollen and mold into the air, also heightening symptoms.
Keep pollen out! As tempting as it is to open the windows and let all that fresh air in, the pollen will make its way in as well. It is best to keep your windows closed when pollen season hits.
Keep pollen off of you! After spending time outdoors, make sure to shower to remove any pollen on your skin and hair. Wash your clothes as well to keep them pollen-free.
Consider Immunotherapy - While there isn't a cure for spring allergies, there is something close. Immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, can modify and prevent disease progression.
Now Available Patch testing for Metals!
Millions of people suffer allergy symptoms caused by indoor allergens, and the Holiday Season brings its own challenges. So how can you manage allergy and asthma flares during the holiday season? See the tips below to help keep the "Merry" in your Christmas!
The Christmas Tree - We all love decorating a beautiful Christmas tree, but unfortunately, trees can be a big cause of wheezing and sneezing for some people. This is not caused by the smell of the tree, but usually, the mold growing on the tree. Your best option is to try an artificial tree, but keep it clean from dust. If you must have a real tree, wait until a few days before Christmas to bring the tree inside, and remove it as soon as possible after the holiday season. This will limit exposure to the mold. You may also want to run an air cleaner in the same room as the Christmas tree to reduce allergens going into the air from the tree.
Decorations and scents - Itchy water eyes, sneezing, and coughing may be signs that your favorite smells of the season are making you miserable. Watch out for Christmas wreaths, potpourri, and holiday air fresheners. They can irritate your eyes, nose, and lungs, and trigger reactions.
Fireplace - Keeping warm by the fire may be inviting, but smoke can worsen allergies and asthma. Check your fireplace to make sure it draws well, so all the smoke goes up the chimney. Watch out for candles too, because their smoke may lead to troublesome symptoms.
Plants - We all love the festive look that poinsettias bring to the season, but if you have a latex allergy, this plant may trigger a severe allergic reaction, because they are members of the rubber tree family. Best to steer clear of them.
Food Allergies - Holiday time is party time, and what's a party without food? For people with food allergies, this is the time to be extra vigilant. If possible, send the host a list of the foods you're allergic to and request they not be served. To play it really safe, eat only the food you bring to the party.
Pets - Your Aunt Mary's precious pooch may be cute but could trigger your allergies. The animal dander lingers in the bedding and carpeting in homes, and they may be full of dust mites. Unfortunately, spending holiday time in other people's homes can expose you to a variety of indoor allergens. Removing the pet from the home before the party isn't enough to make a difference. Avoid holding or petting the animal if possible. If you do come in contact, keep your hands away from your face and wash your hands with soap and water.
To help keep your allergies at bay this holiday season, make sure you take your allergy and asthma medications regularly and carry your rescue inhaler or epi-pen with you as directed by your doctor. You may also want to consider immunotherapy – allergy shots – to help build up a tolerance to your allergies.
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We hope this email finds you having a great Fall season!
Unfortunately, fall can bring misery to millions of people who suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever). Sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, itchy eyes, nose, and throat, or worsening asthma symptoms are common in people with undiagnosed or poorly managed hay fever. The tall goldenrod species of ragweed gets blamed for most of the pollen, but a primary cause of allergy symptoms is the tooth-leaved ragweed that lives low in the grass.
Proper diagnosis is the first step in managing your symptoms. Although there is no cure, ragweed allergy can be managed to improve the quality of your life. The best control is to avoid contact with the pollen. The National Allergy Bureau (NAB) tracks pollen counts regionally to help you plan when you should avoid the outdoors. Talk to Dr. Panuto about medications that may provide you temporary relief from symptoms!
TIPS FOR A SAFE HALLOWEEN
Having food allergies doesn't mean having to skip all Halloween fun. Follow these tips for a safe holiday:
Plan food-free Halloween activities, such as costume contests, games, and pumpkin carving.
Don't let your food-allergic child trick or treat alone, and always have them carry their epinephrine with them.
Verify that adults or friends with your child understand his or her food allergies and what to do in an emergency.
Be cautious of "fun-size" candy, which may contain different ingredients than regular size candy.
Teach your child how to politely say no to food that may not be safe, especially homemade items such as cookies and cupcakes.
THE FLU SEASON IS HERE!
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated every year. It is important to get the current shot because it is made to provide protection against the most common flu viruses for that year. Stop in to see us get yours.
****Flu shots are available on a walk-in basis. Please refer to the shot line (216) 539-5960 for available shot hours.****
NEW Patient Payment Solution
We are pleased to now offer a new Patient Payment Solution called which allows you to pay your healthcare bills on any device, including your mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or computer, while keeping your data safe and secure. Save Your Payment Information in Your InstaMed Digital Wallet to Make Healthcare Payments in Seconds. No lengthy setup process is required. Utilize the “Guest Payment” feature and make your payment. Once your payment is received, it will be confirmed via email. Simply click on the “Make a Payment Button” on our website. We hope you enjoy the convenience and security of our new Patient Payment Option.
Don’t let the Flu get you down – Get your flu shot now.
Flu shots available for walk-ins starting September 4th.
Refer to the shot-line for availability. (216) 539-5960
SPRING POLLEN SEASON IS AROUND THE CORNER!
The peak season for asthma and allergy sufferers is right around the corner. Proper management and treatment can make a huge difference in your quality of life and comfort in your day to day living. Be proactive and plan ahead! Contact us today to set up an appointment (440)-779-1112.
Voted Best Allergy & Immunology physician!
Dr. Panuto has recently been voted by his peers as one of the best Allergy & Immunology Physicians in the “Best Doctors Cleveland” August 2018 magazine.
The below is an excerpt from page 83 of the magazine:
"Founded in 1989 by Harvard Medical School physicians, Best Doctors Inc. is a global benefits provider and medical information services company that connects individuals facing difficult medical treatments with the best doctors.
Best Doctors team of researchers conducts a biennial poll using the methodology that mimics the informal peer-to-peer process doctors themselves use to identify the right specialist for their patients. Using a polling method and proprietary balloting software, they gather the insight and experience of tens of thousands of leading specialists all over the country while confirming their credentials and specific areas of expertise.
The result is the Best Doctor in America list, which includes the nation’s most respected specialist and outstanding primary care physicians. These are the doctors that other doctors recognize as the best in their fields. They cannot pay a fee and are not paid to be listed and cannot nominate or vote for themselves. It is a list which is truly unbiased and respected by the medical profession and patients alike as the source of quality medical information."