New Living Well Series on Allergies Offered

San Jose, CA — Love might be in the air today, Valentine’s Day, but soon it will be pollen or other allergens. With spring just around the corner and heightened seasonal allergies due to tree pollens or mold, O’Connor Hospital is launching a three-part Living Well series beginning, Monday, Feb. 25 on what is an allergy, what you can do to lessen the symptoms and more specifically what are food allergies.

Allergies in the spring occur because light and dry pollen cells from trees are carried in the air. They can send the body’s immune system into overdrive and cause symptoms such as sneezing, stuffy nose and itching eyes. Hay fever, which is triggered by 11 types of trees, affects 30 to 60 million people in the United States alone. In the summer, different allergens are present, mostly grass pollens, and in the fall ragweed allergies. Mold is a year-round allergy, but more prevalent in the spring after the rainy season.

More and more people are developing allergies and O’Connor physician Dr. Theodore Chu, board certified in internal medicine and allergy and immunology, will explain why in the “Allergies Are Increasing. What Can You Do?” class on Feb. 25. His presentation will focus on what allergies are, why they are on the rise, what causes them, how to prevent and treat them and how to minimize their impact on your life.

Dr. Chu will answer questions related to how can you tell if a runny nose or asthma is due to allergies; what sorts of plants, animals and microscopic organisms are allergenic; and what are some of the treatments for allergies that non-doctors can use, among other questions.

The series continues on Thursday, March 7, with “What is an Allergy,” presented by O’Connor physician John Kellogg, a board certified internist and allergy and immunology specialist. Dr. Kellogg will discuss how allergies can cause subtle and sometimes severe reactions in the body. Learn about common triggers and the natural progression of allergies from infancy to adulthood. The class is intended for parents, teachers, health care providers or anyone interested in learning about one of the fastest growing diseases worldwide.

The third class in the series will focus on food allergies. O’Connor pediatrician Katharine Nelson’s talk, “Do You Have a Food Allergy?” on Wednesday, April 3, will focus on common food allergies, the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance, how to diagnose and treat food allergies and new research, including new methods for diagnosis and cure. Anyone who is affected by food allergies can benefit from this informational class.

O’Connor Hospital’s Living Well Community Lecture Series are free of charge, but please call (800) 220-0182 for reservations or register online . Each class provides ample time for a question-and-answer period at the end of the session. All three classes will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Medical Office Building (MOB) Auditorium at O’Connor Hospital, 2101 Forest Avenue, San Jose. Refreshments will be served.