Health and Wellness Summer 2013 - page 4

Health & Wellness
Summer 2013
The Garden City Telegram
Seasonal allergies can take a toll on one’s energy levels and
overall health, and in southwest Kansas, pollen is the main
culprit, but the wind and dust in the air also aggravate already
present allergy symptoms caused by pollen.
According to Dr. Julie Munson, Otolaryngologist at Kearny
County Hospital’s Ear, Nose, Throat and Allergy Clinic, grass,
trees and weeds are the three types of seasonal allergy-causing
culprits, and anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of her patients
experience allergy-related symptoms. Farmers often experi-
ence allergic symptoms when cutting wheat, but Munson said
that it isn’t the cutting of the wheat that causes allergies, but
the stirring up of dust during wheat harvest that aggravates
already present allergies to wheat pollen.
Munson said that her clinic offers allergy testing, either
through blood testing or skin testing, which help physicians
determine the best course of treatment. One such treatment is
immunotherapy, which involves injecting patients with very
diluted amounts of whatever they are allergic to, on a regular
basis, resulting in a desensitization to the specific allergen.
Munson said that in some cases, allergies can aggravate other
pre-existing conditions and lead to other types of problems.
“Allergies can aggravate sinuses, ear problems, asthma,
bronchitis and just nasal breathing — being able to breath
through your nose. It kind of aggravates all of that,” she said.
“Allergies can make it harder for people with asthma to con-
trol it because they have allergies aggravating it.”
Chronic sinus infections also can worsen if allergies are
poorly controlled.
Dr. BlakeWasinger, Wasinger Chiropractic and Acupuncture,
1811 E. Mary St., said that sinus infections can lead to more se-
rious health issues, such as pneumonia, bronchitis and upper
respiratory issues. That’s particularly true with the elderly, the
young and those with compromised immune systems.
Wasinger said that he uses massage to help patients who
suffer from sinus problems.
“It’s similar to what a massage therapist would do ... we try
to break up some of that congestion and everything, and my
patients who suffer severely with sinus issues, that’s one of the
most lasting things we can do. Basically, we get the sinus fluid
to drain and try to get down into the body and then the body
can take care of it,” he said.
By Angie Haflich,
alleviating the
Brad Nading, Telegram
of allergies
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