Learn about allergies at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen

Published 12:34 pm Thursday, March 10, 2016

Dr. Kristopher Lay will talk about spring seasonal allergies during Breakfast with the Doc on March 16 at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. (File)

Dr. Kristopher Lay will talk about spring seasonal allergies during Breakfast with the Doc on March 16 at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

HOOVER—The budding trees and blooming flowers of spring are just around the corner, and with them the stuffy noses and watery eyes of allergy season. Learn how to combat the symptoms of seasonal allergies with Breakfast with the Doc at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen on March 16 at 8 a.m.

The monthly hour-long breakfast talk will feature Dr. Kristopher Lay, an otolaryngologist with Alabama Nasal and Sinus Center.

“Seasonal allergies are allergies to pollens that are produced by plants. Those kind of have a peak in the spring and again in the fall,” Lay said. “Right now, if you look at pollen counts, they’re up.”

Alabama has an extended allergy season, which starts as early as February and can last through the summer.

“Grasses have already started (to pollinate), but they’ll rise more closer to the summer, then they table off in the middle to late summer,” Lay said, adding trees have also started to pollinate.

The most common symptoms of pollen allergies are sneezing, watery eyes, nasal congestion and soar throat, but people can also experience rashes and skin irritation, Lay said.

Allergies can also lead to sleep disturbance, Lay said, noting people often don’t realize their sleep troubles may be the result of allergies.

“A lot of people experience sleep disturbance when their allergies are active,” Lay said. “I think most people will complain mostly of just feeling fatigued, just feeling not good. They’re not necessarily waking up at night, they don’t even realize it, they just feel rundown and fatigued.”

Lay will also address food sensitivities. Unlike allergies to foods such as peanuts and shellfish which result in an immediate reaction, food sensitivities have a delayed reaction.

“The symptoms occur four to 24 hours after you’ve eaten the food,” Lay said.

Lay said he most often sees sensitivity to milk, eggs, wheat and corn, and symptoms are usually similar to those caused by seasonal allergies, such as nasal congestion, headaches and postnasal drip.

“There are foods that cause your nasal and throat and head symptoms, and most people are surprised to find that,” Lay said. “When I can diagnose these food allergies, people will often times…notice actually their stomach feels better (as well).”

Guests will have an opportunity to ask Lay questions about allergies and sensitivities during the program.

Breakfast with the Doc is free and includes a light meal. To reserve a spot for the talk, call 408-6550.