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Heart & Sole Race Week Tips

The Lexington Medical Center Heart & Sole Women’s Five Miler is this Saturday in Finlay Park! Amanda Castles from Health Directions, Lexington Medical Center’s fitness and wellness gym, is your personal trainer for the race. In the video below, she offers race week tips. You can still register for the race at www.heartandsolerun.com. Good luck and we’ll see you at the Finish Line!

Amanda’s Race Week Tips:

~Stay with what has been working for you. Do not switch to new shoes this week.
~Pin you race bib to your shirt with a safety pin before you leave the house for the race.
~Arrive to the race early so that you have enough time to find parking and walk to the Start line.
~Walk around before the race so that your body is warm.
~Don’t start too fast.
~Have fun!

Ask the Doctor: Coronary Bypass Surgery

Dr. Dee Prastein, heart surgeon at Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery, was invited to be a guest on WIS-TV to talk about coronary bypass surgery. The topic was in the news after Bob Coble, the former mayor of Columbia, suffered a heart attack and underwent a bypass procedure.

In the first segment, she talked about how bypass surgery is performed.

In the second segment, she discussed recovery.

Lexington Medical Heart Center has performed more than 800 open heart surgeries since the program began in 2012. For more information, visit LexMed.com/heart

Spring Is In the Air… So Is Pollen

Sneezing, wheezing, hives, nasal congestion and itchy, watery eyes – more than 67 million Americans suffer from these and other seasonal allergy symptoms.

Here’s what the experts say:
• Hot, dry, windy days usually mean more pollens and molds are in the air.
• Rain showers tend to wash pollens out of the air.
• Generally, at ground level, the peak pollen count is between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and between 5:00 and 9:00 p.m.
• Pollen counts fall during times of higher humidity and rise during low humidity.
• The warmer the temperature, the greater the pollen.

According to Andrew Battiata, MD, a physician at Lexington ENT & Allergy, the severity of an allergic reaction can vary from mild discomfort to life threatening situations.

Dr. Battiata

Dr. Battiata

“An allergy is characterized by an overreaction of the immune system to a foreign substance (called an allergen) that is eaten, inhaled, injected or touched. This overreaction can result in symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose and scratchy throat. In severe cases, it can also result in rashes, hives, lower blood pressure, difficulty breathing, asthma attacks and even death,” said Dr. Battiata.

For people with allergies, their immune systems work too hard and react even when relatively harmless substances, such as pollen, are present. And left untreated, allergies can lead to chronic health problems.

“By far, the most common side effect from an untreated allergy is frequent sinus infections that require steroids and/or antibiotics, or even sinus surgery. People with untreated allergies also miss time from school or work and have decreased quality of life,” said Dr. Battiata.

field of flowers_1In the spring, the most common allergen is tree pollen, which begins to release between January and April, depending on the climate and location. The trees include elm, pine, birch, ash, hickory, poplar and cypress…just to name a few. Grass pollen takes over in summertime, and weed pollen appears in the fall.

And allergies can be both environmental and genetic.

“If one parent has allergies of any type, chances are 1 in 3 that each child will have an allergy. If both parents have allergies, it is much more likely (7 in 10) that their children will have allergies,” he said.

So testing is important, too.

Dr. Battiata recommends skin testing as the most accurate way to determine allergies. Blood testing, known as radioallergosorbent (RAST) testing, is also available.

Allergies and their symptoms can be a big problem, but there are ways to find relief.

“There are three types of treatments that can be used in combination: avoidance of the allergen, use of anti-histamines, steroids or other medications, and immunotherapy (allergy shots) to desensitize the allergic response,” said Dr. Battiata.

Although avoiding all airborne allergens is virtually impossible, knowing the peak pollen season and tracking daily pollen counts can help minimize exposure.

You can also use allergy devices in your home, such as an air cleaner and air conditioner, which will help remove pollen and mold spores from the air. Be sure to keep the filters clean!