Dignity Health | hello Healthy | Fall 2018

HelloHealthy | Fall 2018 3 Breathe better, feel better this fall We hope you enjoy this issue of HelloHealthy . Comments about the publication can be directed to the Marketing and Communications Department: DIGNITY HEALTH – Mercy and Memorial Hospitals P.O. Box 119, Bakersfield, CA 93302 | 661.327.4647, ext. 4434 HelloHealthy is published by Dignity Health – Mercy and Memorial Hospitals to provide general health information. It is not intended to provide personal medical advice, which should be obtained directly from a health care provider. Models may be used in photos and illustrations. 2018 © Coffey Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Marketing and Communications Department Robin Mangarin-Scott—Vice President, Strategic Marketing and Communications–Central California Michelle Willow—Director of External Communications–Central California Cody Brutlag—Marketing Manager–Central California Jessica Neeley—Communications Specialist–Central California Fabiana Rienzo—Communications Specialist–Central California Michelle Oliver—Marketing Manager–Central California Do you sneeze, cough, and wheeze more at this time of year? That’s not uncommon in our area—several troublesome respiratory issues tend to crop up in the fall. Find the facts about them below, along with a few stay-well tips courtesy of Amy Mehta, MD, a Dignity Health pulmonologist. Allergies and asthma. Many people with allergies see their symptoms rise in the fall. One culprit may be airborne pollen, as well as dust from local harvesting, Dr. Mehta says. And if you happen to have asthma, allergies can, in turn, exacerbate that condition. If you’re prone to fall allergies, limit your outdoor activities on windy days or when news reports list the air quality as poor. “And start taking your allergy medication before allergy season arrives,” Dr. Mehta says. Colds and the flu. As the weather turns cooler, we spend more time indoors around other people, which exposes us to circulating cold and flu germs. Remember to wash your hands often, including when you return from public places. “And avoid people who are sick,” Dr. Mehta says. Also, nearly everyone 6 months and older should get a flu shot each fall. With rest and some over-the- counter medicines to relieve symptoms, you should start feeling better if you catch a cold or get the flu. “But if you’re feeling worse and just not getting any better, see your doctor,” Dr. Mehta says. If you have a lung disease, like COPD, seek medical help sooner rather than later. Bronchitis. Infections and allergies can trigger bronchitis— inflammation of the lungs’ breathing tubes. “We see that a lot in the fall,” says Dr. Mehta. A cough that lasts more than seven days (especially with wheezing) should prompt a trip to your doctor’s office for possible antibiotic treatment. WHO: All clinics are for adults 18 years or older. WHY: Because in addition to making us miserable, the flu sometimes leads to serious complications. WHEN: The sooner the better! Find a time and location listed below that fits your needs. Thursday, Oct. 4 Mercy Hospital Southwest 551 Shanley Court, Bakersfield (Behind Friends of Mercy Foundation building) 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 Mercy Hospital Downtown 1919 16th St., Bakersfield (16th and D streets) 9 to 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 8 Memorial Hospital 420 34th St., Bakersfield (Parking lot next to Human Resources building) 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. DRIVE-THRU flu vaccine clinics Free! Looking for a doctor? We can help. Visit dignityhealth.org/ourdoctors or call 661.487.1042.