Nurse Practitioners Corner

Nurse Practitioners Corner

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(By Appointment)

Mon    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Tue     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Wed    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Thu     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Frid     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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Quest Lab hours:     Mon-Fri 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Spring Allergies, Part 3

Some people not only have nasal congestion, runny nose, and itching, but they also suffer from eye symptoms.  This is referred to as allergic conjunctivitis and symptoms include: Red, itchy, watery, burning eyes with the possibility of morning puffiness around the eye lids.  Oral antihistamines may not completely relieve your symptoms.  If this is the case you may need eye drops with antihistamine and mast cell stabilizing properties.  There are over the counter options that work well and are affordable, including Zaditor and Alaway.  Both contain Ketotifen 0.025%. The antihistamine provides immediate relief while the mast cell stabilizer helps prevent further symptoms.  Previously only available by prescription, both can be sued long term safely.


Other over the counter eye drops, such as Naphcon-A and Visine contain a decongestant and should only be used for short-term periods of time.  Alwasy remove your contact lenses before using these eye drops and wait 10 minutes before reinserting the lenses.

Spring Allergies, Part 2

I hope your were able to read my first recommendations for surviving and thriving during the spring allergy season.  If not, check out yesterday's suggestions to avoid the pollen and irratants.  Your local weather guru will often give your a heads up regarding the pollen count which can really help your plan your activities.  Today, I want to draw your attention to following your nose to more comfort and less sneezing and itching.


If your symptoms are mild, saline nasal rinses can provide relief with very few side effects.  These work by rinsing away the offending irritant and are available at your local pharmacy, or you can make your own by dissolving slightly less than 1/8th tsp of salt in 1 cup of water and rinsing your nose out with a neti-pot.


Nasal steroid sprays are available over the counter (ex.- Flonase and Nasacort) and also by prescription.  These reduce swelling and mucus in the nasal passages which helps with congestion, runny nose, sneezing, or itching.  They are for the most part, locally absorbed with very little systemic effect.  These do not start to work for about 7-14 days but in conjunction with antihistamines can really provide relief.

Spring Allergies, Part 1

It did not take very long after our harsh winter for the allergy season to get into full swing. Seasonal allergies which causes Allergic Rhinnitis, also known as Hay Fever, is brought on by the body's overreaction to allergens. If you are sensitive to spring allergens you are most likely reacting to tree and/or grass pollen and molds.


Symptoms include runny nose, itchy nose, sneezing, dry itchy eyes and throat, sore throat, dry cough, itchy skin and increase congestion. The degree of symptoms may vary depending how sensitive you are to the allergen and how high of an allergen count is in the environment. Symptoms will typically last the duration of the blooming season which is several weeks.


The good news is that Allergic Rhinnitis is treated with a variety of good medications. There are several excellent over the counter (non prescription) anti-histamines including: Claritin, Allegra and Zyrtec. These will reduce sneezing, itching and runny nose symptoms. These work the best if started before symptoms develop, so I usually recommend that my allergy patients start one of these in the last week of Feburary and continue until the blooming has ended. While these products are very helpful, they often do not take care of all of the symptoms. There are additional medications available by prescription that may be safely added to anti-histamine treatment and provide great relief.


So If you are battling with congestion, itchy/dry eyes, cough, sneezing and sore throat, give us a call to schedule an appointment. We prefer to see you earlier in the season and get ahead of the symptoms, so you can breathe easy and enjoy the great outdoors. We have all waited a long time for the nice weather. Let's enjoy it!


Kathleen M. Curtis MD

Allergy Season

Allergy season has arrived.  Are you ready? The trees are officially budding and this can herald incredibly irritating pollen for many people.  Let Capital Family Pratice help you with the first steps toward a better, more enjoyable spring time.


Treatment begins with avoiding the offending substance.  This may mean you stay indoors during the worst times.  Air conditioning is very helpful and keeping the windows in the house and car closed will also benefit you.  Take a bath before bed to wash the pollen off and avoid sleeping in it.  Stay tuned and I will share more tips on combating your seasonal allergies.

Statin Use and the Risk of Diabetes

Patients have questioned me about statin therapy and a possible relationship with diabetes. Recent research demonstrates that statin therapy can modestly raise blood sugars and the FDA has made a statement regarding this. Furthermore, patients on statins are more likely to have diabetes than those who are not. However, patients on statins experience significantly fewer cardiovascular events and the increase in glucose that patients experience is relatively small (as is the risk of developing diabetes) when compared to the cardiovascular protection received from the statin use.  

So my thoughts on this matter are this. Yes, statin therapy may increase a patient’s risk of diabetes, especially if he or she is already at risk for diabetes. For the patient who is at risk of developing cardiovascular disease or who already has it, statin therapy can help prevent heart attacks and strokes. They can save lives and improve quality of life.  For further reading I suggest the following article from the American Heart Association