Allergy Season Arrives Before Spring...Here's How To Get Relief

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Allergy Season
Spring arrives Friday, but allergy sufferers are already having problems with the pollen.

The symptoms are familiar: a runny, stuffy nose; watery, itchy eyes along with sneezing and coughing. You can also experience fatigue, headaches and nausea.

Unless you're willing to stay inside with the windows closed - it's hard to avoid pollen. But Dr. Robert Beer in West Omaha says a good place to start is with over-the-counter antihistamines like Allegra, Claritin or Zyrtec.

These are given once or twice daily, come in generics and are relatively non-sedating. Benadryl is more potent - but has the disadvantage of causing drowsiness and only lasting about four hours.

If these don't work, see your primary doctor for further evaluation and prescription treatment. They may refer you to an allergist to get the symptoms under control.

Cancer Awareness
March is Colon Cancer awareness month. Last year alone more than 50,000 people died of colorectal cancer. According to the American Cancer Society - the colon cancer death rate in the United States could be cut in half if everyone simply followed recommended screening guidelines. Dr. Mel Roca says African Americans are likely to be diagnosed at younger ages than whites. So screening should begin at 45. Screening should start at 50 for for the general population.

There are three major screening choices:

1. Colonoscopy: This is considered the gold standard for screening. It not only detects but also prevents colon cancer by removing suspicious growths called polyps in the large bowel. When detected early, polyps can be removed - halting their progression to colorectal cancer

2. Sigmoidoscopy: Similar to Colonoscopy but only looks at the last 1/3 of the large bowel

3. Stool Tests: Cards you can take home to collect samples and mail back for testing. This only detects blood in the stool which may indicate colorectal cancer

Doctors say nearly 23 million Americans between 50 and 75 are not getting tested as recommended. Talk to your doctor about which test is right for you.