Posts for: April, 2016

Week 1- You should start medications earlier in the year than you may think.

If you are your child has seasonal allergies, you should ideally start the medicines at least two to three weeks before the beginning of the season ( which depends on his specific allergy) and continue them through the end.  If you have allergies year-round, talk to your doctor about keeping the medicines going all year rather than waiting for symptoms to flare up. 

Most allergy medicines are far more effective at preventing symptoms than they are at treating them once they start.  That's because the runny nose, stuffiness, itching, sneezing and watery eyes result from a whole cascade of events in the immune system, and once it gets going it's hard to stop.  Corticosteriod nose sprays, available over-the-counter, are the most effective type of medicines for allergies (ages 2 and older); they prevent the cascade by decreasing the immune system's response to antigens like dust mites and pollen.

Antihistamines can help relieve symptoms also. They are more effective if they are in bloodstream before the allergy attack.  They need about 5 days to reach their full strength and about 5 days to wear off completely.

In March 2015 a policy statement about electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) from the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, stated that the use of electronic nicotine has quickly increased.  It is unclear that nonsmokers or former smokers will use these combustible tobacco products.  These devices may even discourage smokers from quitting.

Additionally, new research out of the University of California San Diego says smokers who try e-cigarettes to help them quit may in fact be less likely to quit.  Smokers in the study who had tried e-cigarettes were found to be half as likely to cut back on cigarette use and 59% less likely to quit.  While the study's author says more studies are needed, one possible reason for the findings is that smokers using e-cigarettes may be receiving an increase in nicotine over those not using e-cigarettes.

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