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Ask Dr. Gott 5/23
Allergy season hits hard
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: I suffer from headaches associated with allergies and have tried numerous medications without much success. With spring here, the grass growing and flowers blooming, I'm really in a bind to find something I feel safe taking. Do you have any suggestions?
    DEAR READER: Allergies and headaches can be difficult to deal with and seem to affect us all at some point in our lives. Worse still, they seem to occur only at important occasions or other inappropriate times. You don't indicate what you have taken for relief, so I hope I can point you in the right direction.
    Visit your local pharmacy to see what is available over the counter. There are several allergy products on the market. You may want to try Claritin, formerly a prescription medication now approved for over-the-counter sale. The newest prescription-turned-OTC is Zyrtec. If you stop the allergies, you should be able to prevent the headaches.
    If you prefer homeopathic choices, I recommend Sinol, which is the first headache nasal spray registered with the Food and Drug Administration. It is purported to relieve headache pain and also comes in an allergy-relief spray. It supposedly reduces, prevents and/or stops sinus pain, as well as congestion and inflammation. It is nonaddictive and free of harsh side effects.
    If you need some guidance, speak with a pharmacist, who may be able to provide more information about the types of medication that will best control your symptoms and provide prompt relief. If you still have questions, make an appointment with your primary-care physician for his or her recommendations.
    To give you related information, I am sending you copies of my Health Reports "Allergies" and "Headaches."

    DEAR DR. GOTT: My husband is suffering from nerve damage caused by knee surgery. He is currently using Lidoderm patches and Neurontin to help control the pain. The patches cause him to have a bad taste in mouth, and the Neurontin makes him very drowsy. He would rather use something natural and stop the prescription medications. Do you have any suggestions?
    DEAR READER: Nerve damage is a common consequence of joint surgery. In most cases, it is minor and short-lived. Your husband, however, appears to have severe damage with resulting pain. His doctor has taken appropriate steps to help him, but nerve pain can be very difficult to treat. Also, your husband needs to return to his physician to report the side effects of the medications.
    I have received many letters from people with nerve pain in their feet caused by diabetes. I often recommend Neurontin. However, your husband is currently taking it and would prefer a nonprescription, so I recommend Vicks VapoRub rubbed onto the affected area as often as needed. Many patients have had stunning success, but it doesn't work for everyone. If this is the case, I recommend you return to the surgeon for further advice.
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