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Fall Allergies

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                       Fall Allergies Got You Down?
  Take the Sutter Solano Medical Center and Sutter Health Allergy Quiz
Vallejo, Calif., September 19, 2006 – Allergy victims suffered through one of the worst allergy seasons in
recent memory this past spring thanks to the late and heavy rain followed by sudden warm, dry conditions.
Now many may wonder if Mother Nature has the same in store for us this fall. If the season proves to be nasty,
Sutter Solano Medical Center and Sutter Health are offering an easy and fun quiz to help educate allergy
sufferers.

About 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies every year – that’s one in five individuals in the
United States. In fact, more people suffer from allergies than all other major diseases combined, according to
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation.

An allergy is an overreaction of your body’s immune system to a substance that's harmless to most people. If
you have an allergy, your immune system treats that substance as an invader and releases several substances in
response to it. The most well known of these, histamines, can cause the common symptoms of allergies such as
sneezing and itching.

Allergy symptoms will vary among sufferers. These symptoms can include itchy, runny, stuffy nose, itchy,
watery eyes, itchy throat and sneezing.

The most important thing for you to do is learn what triggers your allergies and then take appropriate steps to
minimize your symptoms. Persistent allergies are also common triggers of asthma, a chronic lung disease that
can be debilitating.

How well do you know your allergies? Take the Sutter Solano and Sutter Health Allergy Quiz and find out.

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1. An allergy is an abnormal reaction to environmental substances that are usually considered
     harmless.
     True
     False

2. Allergies can be inherited.
   True
   False

3.    Which of the following is most likely to trigger an allergy attack?
A.   Taking a shower after being outdoors
B.   Staying in an air-conditioned environment with the windows closed
C.   Driving with the windows open to let in fresh air
D.   Beginning a series of allergy shots

4. If you don't have any allergies by the time you're an adult, you won't develop any in the future.
   True
   False

5. More visits are made to the pediatrician for allergy symptoms than for anything else, except the
   common cold.
   True
   False

                                                        -more-
6. If you have seasonal allergies, it's best to exercise outdoors early in the morning.
   True
   False

7. Doctors sometimes call one of the observable allergy symptoms in toddlers an “allergic salute.”
   True
   False

8.   What can you do to help relieve allergy symptoms?
A.   Drink plenty of fluids
B.   Avoid secondhand smoke
C.   Do a thorough spring-cleaning
D.   Try an over-the-counter remedy

9. More than half of those with allergies are allergic to dust mites.
   True
   False

10. There's no need to consult your doctor about seasonal allergies.
     True
     False
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answers

1. True. These substances – called allergens – include animal dander, chemicals, dust mites, feathers, foods,
medications, mold spores and, of course, pollen.

2. True. If either Mom or Dad has allergies, their child has about a 30 percent chance of getting them, too. If both
parents have allergies, the probability increases to around 60 percent.

3. C. Driving with the windows open doesn't help prevent allergic reactions. In fact, it's best to keep the air
conditioning on and the windows rolled up.

4. False. Although allergy symptoms may fade as you age, even older adults can develop new allergies.

5. True. According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Childhood and Adolescence, “It is thought that at least one out of
every five children has an allergy of some kind.”

6. False. Pollen counts are usually the highest between about 5 and 10 a.m. Don't use pollen counts as an excuse to
avoid exercise, however. To limit your exposure, exercise indoors or later in the day.

7. True. The “allergic salute” is when the child is pushing his nose up with his hand, sometimes causing a horizontal
crease on the nose. Doctors also look for allergic shiners, dark circles under a child’s eyes

8. Any answer to this question would have been correct. Drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding exposure to smoke,
cleaning your home and taking an over-the-counter remedy can all help ease allergy symptoms.

9. True. Preventing exposure to allergens in your home is a powerful treatment. A thorough cleaning and other
prevention techniques can all help.

10. False. If your allergy symptoms persist or get worse despite your self-care measures, it’s best to consult your
doctor or an allergist.

About Sutter Health
Sutter Health is a family of not-for-profit hospitals, physician organizations and other medical services that share
resources and expertise to advance health care quality. Serving more than 100 communities in Northern California,
Sutter Health is a regional leader in cardiac care, cancer treatment, orthopedics, obstetrics, and newborn intensive
care, and is a pioneer in advanced patient safety technology. For more information, visit www.sutterhealth.org.


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posted:8/30/2009
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