This month we visited Lake Monticello Primary Care in Fluvanna County, Virginia. Dana Hannah, a nurse practitioner at the clinic has seen patients for back to school wellness checkups, allergic rhinitis and concern over tick and insect bites.
Back to School Wellness Checks
August is back to school month for many areas in Central Virginia, and many of our primary care clinics have seen children for well visits preparing for the new school year. Similarly, sports check-ups have been frequent, according to Hannah.
Hannah mentioned that allergic rhinitis has been a popular reason for visits in the past month. Allergic rhinitis occurs when people breathe in something that they’re allergic to, whether that be dust, animal dander or pollen. Pollen levels were an issue earlier this year, and dry, hot weather with strong breezes amplifies the problem.
Preventing allergic rhinitis may be impossible since it may involve staying inside, keeping windows closed and avoiding the use of air conditioners. However, you may be able to limit your reaction by
- cleaning the filters in your air conditioners.
- using HEPA filters.
- vacuuming frequently.
Since it can be difficult to avoid all causes of allergic rhinitis, taking over the counter medications like antihistamines or decongestants may help relieve your symptoms.
Feeling sick? Need a sports physical?
Tick and Insect Bites
Hannah has seen an increase in insect and tick bites over the past month as well. “People have a lot of questions and concerns about Lyme disease and Lone Star tick bites and the reactions,” Hannah said.
Avoid tick bites altogether by using insect repellent and wearing long pants and shirts with sleeves. Lyme disease can take anywhere from days to weeks to present symptoms, but if you do notice a persistent headache, stiff neck, some joint pain and swelling, along with other symptoms, and you have been in contact with a tick, be sure to see a doctor.
The Germwatch series provides information on what’s going around in our community as well as popular reasons for primary care visits.