Mahaska Health Partnership Explores Environmental Allergies

Mahaska Health Partnership

MAHASKA COUNTY – Environmental allergies can develop at any point during your lifetime. Mahaska Health Partnership Allergy/Immunology Specialist Stanley Horner, DO, helps explain why.

“An allergic reaction is your body’s way of fighting what it believes to be a harmful substance,” Dr. Horner shared. “It’s a hyperactive response by your immune system when it recognizes something you have never been exposed to before.”

According to Dr. Horner, this can occur at any stage of life, even in adulthood when you’ve never had allergies before. “Usually a person is genetically predisposed to having allergies. However, an allergic response can be trigged anytime there are significant changes to your environment which introduces your body to new allergens.”

Dr. Horner said examples of these significant changes can include moving to a new state, changes in seasonal shifts as well as changes in behavior. “If you suddenly move from Minnesota to California, you will undoubtedly be exposed to a lot of new vegetation and pollen levels in the air that your body is not accustomed to. This change can cause an advanced immune response, resulting in an allergy.

“Our climate is getting warmer and our winters are shifting which is causing plants to release pollen at different times than they used to,” Dr. Horner shared. “In 2016, we experienced a longer than normal winter which resulted in trees releasing pollen later, closer to other plants. This double dose of pollen could overwhelm some people’s immune systems.

“In adulthood, our activities are different than in childhood which can increase our potential for allergies. Instead of riding bikes in the neighborhood you might be out on nature trails or in the mountains. You may get up close and personal with mold while cleaning the bathtub or dust in the basement. All of these new exposures can cause your body to react.”

Although a person can develop symptoms of allergies at any time, don’t assume every runny nose is an allergy. “There are many different reasons a person may experience symptoms similar to allergies. If you’re experiencing itchy or watery eyes, a runny nose and sneezing; seek an appointment with an allergist to get a proper diagnosis before starting any new medication.”

Dr. Horner is a board certified Allergy/Immunology Specialist who treats patients for issues related to allergies and the immune system. Through his specialty, Dr. Horner works to determine the root cause of patient’s symptoms to alleviate sinus, skin and respiratory issues. Dr. Horner practices alongside Melissa Lamb, ARNP-BC, in the MHP Medical Group.

Mahaska Health Partnership, located in Oskaloosa, is a non-profit health system accredited by the Joint Commission. It is guided by its mission to provide exceptional customer service and health improvement, linking the science of medicine with the humanity of compassionate care. For more information about how Mahaska Health Partnership is making healthcare personal, call 641.672.3240 or visit mahaskahealth.org.

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Posted by on Mar 31 2017. Filed under Lifestyle, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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