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Are your allergy symptoms trying to tell you something?

Published on Thursday, May 31, 2018

Dr. Kathleen Perkins
Nothing says springtime in Michigan like the smell of dinner cooking on the grill, the sound of the lawnmower, and for many of us, itchy eyes, sneezing and a runny nose. Welcome to spring allergy season.

“Being surrounded by water, Michigan is essentially one big humidifier,” states Kathleen Perkins, DO, a family medicine physician with McLaren Lapeer-Metamora Community Medical Center. “Moisture makes mold grow and dust mites thrive in humid air. Windy days can kick pollen into the air. All of these seasonal changes can trigger allergic reactions.” Common allergy symptoms include nasal drainage, itchy or watery eyes, scratchy throat, cough and congestion.

So should we grab some over-the-counter allergy medicine at the local pharmacy and wait for the symptoms to clear up? Not so fast, advises Dr. Perkins. She recommends starting with a visit to your primary care provider. “There are a lot of good allergy medications available now without a prescription, but it is a good idea to meet with your doctor first. Symptoms that you think are caused by allergies, may actually be a sign of underlying chronic issues.”

For example, a persistent cough could stem from gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma or emphysema. Nasal congestion or irritation could be a result of sinus deformities. Getting your symptoms checked out by your doctor to rule out these conditions is a good idea. Then your doctor can discuss the best treatment option based on your situation.

If you are in need of a good primary care physician, Dr. Perkins is currently accepting new patients. She has been serving the health needs of people in the Metamora community for seven years and is proud to be part of a team committed to excellent patient care.

“Our staff is very friendly and we encourage patients to ask questions,” shares Dr. Perkins. “It is important to take the time to learn about their medical conditions and discuss wellness plans for them to be the healthiest, happiest patients possible.”

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Perkins, please call the office at (810) 678-4000.