As the kids get back to school, we realize summer is almost over. The nights are starting to get chilly; we need that extra blanket on the bed. The kids at the bus stop need light jackets or sweaters. The summer to fall transition can mean many things, but for some doctor’s offices it means the start of a busy season filled with colds, flu, asthma and allergies.

allergies in the fallDr. Rachel Schreiber, an allergist with Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center says September is prime time for respiratory illnesses. In fact many of the physicians in the area are seeing a spike in respiratory illnesses this week. At Adventist Medical Group in Germantown doctors are seeing patients that are experiencing sinusitis, bronchitis, and allergy symptoms like congestion and sore throat.

According to Dr. Avni Jain, a primary care physician with Adventist Medical Group, those with asthma are particularly vulnerable this time of year because of the fall allergy season and the fluctuations in temperature. For help with avoiding asthma flare-ups, make sure you are taking your regular medication as directed and your rescue inhaler is ready for emergencies. You should also have an asthma management plan ready.

There are ways for all of us to be prepared this fall season-carry a light jacket, frequent hand washing, and always covering your cough. But, Dr. Jain says the “most important way for all of us to be prepared is to get your flu shot.” This will help you be protected from some of the most common strains of the flu virus this year.

Flu shots are recommended for everyone, with some exceptions, beginning at six months of age. Talk with your health care provider today to see about getting your flu shot.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Washington and Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Centers, Adventist Medical Group, an affiliate of GW Medical Faculty Associates.