Congressman Westerman visited Frontier Pharmacy in Bismarck, AR this week to discuss healthcare and how to help small independent pharmacies. Independent pharmacies are key to providing patient access to life saving drugs and healthcare counseling for all, especially in rural areas like Bismarck. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) ten years ago, Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) companies have become all too powerful.
Everyone is familiar with allergies. Constant sneezing. Nasal congestion. That awful runny and itchy nose… who can forget symptoms like those? Most people don’t know that allergies are actually our bodies overreacting to something that it normally wouldn’t (or shouldn’t).
Our bodies and immune systems fight back against what they interpret as invaders by releasing a chemical called histamine which is responsible for the symptoms we associate with allergies. These symptoms include nasal congestion, sneezing, a runny or itchy nose, dry or itchy eyes, and dry mouth. Other symptoms include postnasal drip, cough (associated with asthma); and fatigue (in children).
Things that cause our bodies to release histamine and give us allergies are called “allergens.” Different allergens cause histamine release in different people. Allergy symptoms can arise during certain seasons or exist year-round. If you have year-round or long episodes of allergies, you may be allergic to pet dander, dust mites, mold, and other things common in homes or outside.
Seasonal allergies (also called hay fever) vary from person to person based on the season. If your allergies are worse in the spring (like mine are!), you’re likely allergic to tree pollen. If you have allergies in the summer, you may have an allergy to grass and weed pollen. Lastly, if you suffer more in the fall, your allergies are likely due to the higher ragweed counts.