Spring into Action: April/May 2014

Spring is always a welcome arrival! This month’s wellness booklet focuses on springtime allergies, COPD, digestive health, and all the things you can do to prepare for the coming season.

Allergies and your eyes

Did you know that 4% of allergy sufferers have eye allergies as their primary allergy?
Eye allergies (also called allergic conjunctivitis), happen when allergens such as pollen or mould spores irritate the membrane called the conjunctiva that lines the inside of the eyelids and the white of the eye (the sclera).
Common eye allergy symptoms include:
  • Itchy, swollen eyes
  • Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid
  • Tearing, sometimes with blurred vision
Most people with mild eye allergy symptoms can treat themselves with over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as an oral antihistamine (e.g., cetirizine) or short-term use of eye drops. Some eye drops should be started before the allergy season, to prevent the symptoms.
If your symptoms do not improve, or you have eye pain or vision loss, please seek medical attention.


COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a serious long-term lung disease that makes it hard to breathe.
COPD most often occurs in people age 40 and over with a history of smoking. Smoking accounts for as many as 80% of COPD cases.
Still, as many as 1 out of 6 people with COPD never smoked. Other risks include:
  • Environmental exposure – secondhand smoke, air pollution
  • Genetic factors
  • Repeated lung infections as a child
To prevent COPD the first thing you should do is, if you smoke, quit now! Ask the Pharmacist at Walmart for help.
In addition, you can
  • Stay away from secondhand smoke
  • Avoid air pollution, e.g., stay indoors when air quality is poor
For more information or support, check out the Lung Association’s BreathWorks™ program at www.lung.ca.
Do you know your lung age? If you’re a smoker, your lungs may be older than you are.
Visit the Pharmacist at Walmart and take a simple Lung Age Test to find out the age of your lungs.



Food and nutrition play an important part in our daily lives. Now may be a good time to sit down and take a good look at what you eat.
Good nutrition provides you with the groundwork to support your body from childhood, through adulthood and into your senior years. Healthy eating also helps reduce the risk of many chronic diseases.
Nutrition basics
  • Fruits and vegetables – lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.
  • Grain products – whole grains are a source of fibre and usually low in fat.
  • Milk and alternatives – are good for your bones.
  • Meat and alternatives – provide protein and other important nutrients.

A recipe for wellness

Click here to learn how to make Brown Sugar Blend Apple Crisp.
SPLENDA® is a registered trademark of McNeil Consumer Healthcare, division of Johnson & Johnson Inc.


Your digestive health

As we get older, our digestive system slows and becomes less efficient. Muscles in the digestive tract get stiff, grow weaker and stop working as well as when we were younger. This is why older adults sometimes suffer from digestive problems such as
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation and hemorrhoids
You can help maintain your digestive health using the tips below:
  • Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water
  • Load your diet with fibre
  • Maintain a healthy body weight by
    • Limiting the bad fats in your diet
    • Using portion control to avoid overeating
    • Getting regular exercise



What is heartburn?
Heartburn is a burning sensation in the central part of the chest leading up into the throat. It is caused by acid reflux when stomach acid splashes into the esophagus.
Tips for managing heartburn
  • Avoid heartburn-causing foods such as rich, spicy, fatty or fried foods, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol
  • Eat slowly and avoid big meals
For mild heartburn, the Pharmacist at Walmart may suggest lifestyle changes or antacids. Other types of medications such as H2 blockers work by reducing the amount of acid in your stomach. Prescription medications are also available from your doctor.


What is constipation?
Constipation often occurs when digested food moves too slowly through the digestive tract and too much water is removed from the stools. This makes bowel movements small, hard, and difficult to pass.
Other signs and symptoms may include:
• Abdominal discomfort or pain
• A feeling of blocked bowels
• Excessive straining
• Having fewer bowel movements (compared to your normal)
The information is an education aid only. If you have questions about your symptoms or have pain that does not resolve, please talk to your doctor.


Be prepared

As warm weather settles in, we all tend to spend more time outdoors and being active.
It’s a good idea for everyone to have a first aid kit handy in case of accident or injury. You can purchase first aid kits ready-made or build your own.
Some basic items for any first aid kit include:
  1. Adhesive tape and adhesive bandages, assorted sizes (Band-Aid®)
  2. Scissors, tweezers, safety pins
  3. Instant ice packs
  4. Over-the-counter pain medication (Motrin®, Tylenol®)
  5. Over-the-counter allergy medication (Benadryl®, Reactine®)
  6. Antibiotic ointment (Polysporin®)
  7. Disposable non-latex gloves
  8. Antiseptic wipes or soap
  9. Thermometer
To be sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.
 Band-Aid®, Motrin®, Tylenol®, Benadryl®, Reactine® and Polysporin® are registered trademarks of Johnson & Johnson Inc.

‘Tis the Season for... Allergies

Allergies happen when your immune system overreacts to common substances that are normally harmless, like pollen, dust or food.
Allergic reactions can differ from person to person. You might get a stuffy nose when a cat is in the room; someone else might cough or wheeze.
[callout box] Avoiding your allergy triggers (called “allergens”) is the best way to prevent allergy symptoms. [/box]
Common allergens
  • Food & drugs 
  • Insect bites/stings 
  • Mould & pollen 
  • Dust & pet dander
During allergy season, remember:
  • Check the weather for pollen counts and adjust your activities accordingly
  • When the pollen or pollution levels are high,
    • Choose less strenuous forms of exercise, and/or
    • Exercise indoors
  • Change and shower after outdoor activity


Important information

In spring as in every season, the Pharmacist at Walmart is always available to support you and your family with advice about your everyday health and wellness. Just ask!
This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. If you have questions about your symptoms, ask the Pharmacist at Walmart for more information, and/or contact your doctor.
Sponsored* by:
*The Pharmacist at Walmart does not endorse or recommend any sponsor or their products or services.
Any representation, performance claim, warranty or guarantee in any materials herein is the sole responsibility of the sponsor that has prepared such materials and is not independently verified by Walmart.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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