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Allergies Got You Fuzzy-Headed? Here’s Why.

When you’re rubbing itchy eyes and sneezing your way through an allergy flare-up, do you also feel muddled and fuzzy-headed sometimes? Many allergy sufferers describe an experience known as “brain fog” — a hazy, tired feeling that makes it difficult to concentrate.

What is this phenomenon and why does it happen?

According to allergist and immunologist Mark Aronica, MD, that disconnected feeling is fatigue, and it’s caused by the inflammation that results when your body tries to counteract your allergy symptoms.

“People with allergies experience inflammation,” he says. “That inflammation leads to a congested nose, disrupted sleep patterns and not getting good rest.”

And, once the cycle starts, it’s sometimes self-perpetuating. You can find it difficult to go about your daily routines.

The more fatigued you are, the more difficulty you’ll have performing well in school or work. It can also negatively impact your quality of life if you’re too tired to do things you would normally do.

What’s really happening? 

When you’re exposed to an allergen, such as pollen, grass or mold, your body responds by producing cytokines, Dr. Aronica says. These are proteins that are part of your body’s immune response to foreign substances. (You also produce them when fighting infections caused by bacteria, viruses and colds.)

The cytokine release causes inflammation in your nose, leading to congestion and narrowed airways.

If you have allergies, allergen exposure leads to ongoing inflammation. And nasal congestion and disturbed sleep combine to give you that fuzzy-headed feeling.

“Chronic inflammation from allergies can lead to that foggy feeling,” he says. “And, you’ll end up not functioning well.”

Fighting the fog

If your allergies are acting up and you feel the fog rolling in, there are a few things you can do to help stop the debilitating cycle of symptoms, inflammation and fatigue, Dr. Aronica says.

1. Limit your exposure. If you’re allergic to pollen or grasses, do your best to stay away from them. Stay indoors when they’re at their peak. Keep your windows closed if you have air conditioning. If you do spend time outside for longer periods, take a shower and change your clothes right away when you come in.

If you’re allergic to dust or mold, keep up with dusting and cleaning to keep them out of your home as much as possible.

2. Take your medicine. Medication can help curb your allergy symptoms. Oral antihistamines (medications that prevent you from responding to the histamines that cause inflammation) are readily available. They’re a temporary solution, but they are often effective.

Over-the-counter and prescription nasal sprays can also help combat your allergy symptoms, Dr. Aronica says.

3. Get allergy shots. This is the strongest form of treatment for allergy symptoms. Small injections of allergens under the skin can help your body build up an immunity over time. The result is less frequent and less severe allergic rhinitis, Dr. Aronica says.

He adds that some allergy sufferers also find relief with nasal lavage — a saline wash that cleans out the sinuses and nasal passages. Many people administer this type of wash with a neti pot to clear out lingering allergy symptoms.

Dr. Aronica notes that other conditions besides allergies may cause fatigue and brain fog. If you have a sore throat, cough, fever or body aches, you could have a cold or other illness and should take medications that will combat those symptoms.

SOURCE: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2017/08/allergies-got-you-fuzzy-headed-heres-why-how-to-cope/


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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