Surviving Summertime Colds and Allergies

It’s summer! The time for you to be sporting your summer highlights, beach body, and barely their makeup, but instead, you’re sporting the nasal crease, swollen adenoids, and dark circles under your eyes. While your friends are dancing in the desert, you’re breathing through your mouth and battling with post nasal drip. No time is a good time for allergy and colds, but summer is especially brutal. If you’re finding yourself a target of the summertime blues because cold and allergies have got you down, here are some tips for summer survival.

Summer Colds
Even though the symptoms may be similar, the cold and the allergy are two very different animals. According to Randy Wexler, MD, “A cold is a virus and is different from allergies. The seasonal difference is due to different virus strains in the summer and winter.” That means that just because the majority of people don’t get colds in winter, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

Nancy Elder, MF says, “Colds. or upper respiratory infections occur all year round but are more prevalent in colder months. The main difference between summer and winter colds is how commonly they occur.”

Why does it seem that summer colds are worse than winter ones? According to Dr. Elder, it’s all about the timing. “Because colds occur less often in the summer months, I think some people feel a bit put upon when they get a summer cold- it just doesn’t seem fair.”

So what can you do if you find yourself a victim of this injustice? Wexel says, ” The most important precaution is hand washing, and not sharing cups or utensils.

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Summer Allergies
Not much more glamorous than summer colds, summer allergies can usually be identified by congestion, coughing, a runny nose, headaches, and fatigue. How can you tell whether it’s an allergy or a cold? Elder says, “Allergies have a more watery runny nose with lots of sneezing, itchy watery eyes and can change based on physical location ( meaning symptoms may worsen or improve depending on whether or to someone goes from the outdoors into a filtered air house).”

Another way to differentiate between cold and allergies is by the times at which they occur. Seasonal allergies will probably strike about the same time every year and continue throughout the allergy season, while summer colds tend to go away within ten days.

Coping with Colds
Here are a few ways to help survive a cold summer or winter

  • Take an OTC decongestant for a stuffy nose
  • Use a saline spray to keep the nose irrigated
  •  Take an OTC pain reliever to keep fever down and ease pain
  •  Take throat lozenges and cough drops for a sore throat and persistent cough
  •  Gargle with warm salt water to manage and soothe a dry throat
  •  Get plenty of sleep and avoid strenuous exercise
  •  Drink water regularly

While these treatments may relieve symptoms, it is important to know that they may not make the cold go away any quicker, but may help you to be a bit more comfortable while your body fights infection. Allergy sufferers will do best with OTC antihistamines and prescription nasal sprays.

How do you handle your hot weather colds and allergies? Let us know and feel better soon!

Anti-Depressants Dampening Your Sex Drive?

Anti-Depressants Dampening Your Sex Drive?

These days, it seems like there’s a pill for everything. Weight lose? There’s a pill for that. Aches and pains? There are pills for those. Better health? Vitamins are pills too. There are pills that make you well, and pills that make you sick, and with the latter lies the problem. While most medications are designed to improve mental and physical well being, they often come with a long list of side effects, that can be equally, if not more, detrimental than the condition they made to treat. When it comes to combatting depression, pills can be very uplifting, but not for all parts of the body. Here is some information on some of the side effects of antidepressants, and what you might want to consider before taking them.

Antidepressants and Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual side effects are probably the leading complaint about antidepressants. Most antidepressants are members of a classification of drugs called SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These work to raise levels of serotonin in the body, causing the person taking the drug to experience less anxiety. Unfortunately, this sense of relaxation can have a calming effect on the libido as well. SSRIs prevent hormones in the body from transmitting sexual messages to our brain, dialing down sex drives in the person taking them.

Side Effects of Antidepressants

Women taking SSRIs may experience blocked orgasms, delayed lubrication, and lack of desire for sex. Men who are affected by the serotonin stimulation from antidepressants may have trouble getting and maintaining erections, and will also show a decrease in libido. Males taking antidepressants may report blocked or delayed orgasms, and some drugs, such as Celexa, can cause sperm count to drop to nearly zero.

Both men and women often experience nausea, dizziness, sluggishness, and weight gain as a result of taking antidepressants. All of these can contribute to making the idea of sex less appealing. Weight gain, in particular, can cause self-consciousness that can lead to decreased sexual desire. Sometimes, weight management or the addition of an exercise routine can give you more energy and increase sexual appetite.

Ways Of Coping

Adjust Dosage

While no serious steps should be taken without first consulting a doctor, switching to a smaller does my help to decrease your risk of side effects. However, if you decide on this course of action, you will probably need to be monitored by a professional for several weeks, to ensure that its benefits outweigh its detriments.

Timing

You may be able to solve your sexual intercourse problems by taking your medication after your daily tryst. It may make sex less spontaneous, but it is an available option.

Rethink Your Prescription

If changing the timing and dosage does not help, you may want to consider changing your brand of antidepressant. Your doctor may be able to suggest a brand less likely to affect you sexually. Men may want to try using erectile dysfunction medications to maintain erections, while women may want to try an antidepressant aid called bupropion to increase libido.

Give It A While

One of the easiest ways to solve sexual dysfunction is to let it solve itself. Sometimes it takes the body time to adjust to antidepressants. Be patient, and discuss setting a timeline with your doctor to see if the side effects work themselves out on their own before taking alternate action.

Let us know how you cope with the side effects of your medications. More medicine or less?