Pisgah Family Health



March 2007






About the Newsletter


Welcome Courtney Horn

Courtney Horn

This week Courtney Horn joins Pisgah Family Health as the new office receptionist. She is currently finishing her degree and will receive her B.A. in Sociology from UNC-Greensboro in May. She hopes to continue her education by going on to get her Masters in a health-related field. During her time at UNC-G, Courtney was an active member of her sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma, where she enjoyed doing many community projects and volunteer work. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time in the outdoors. Her favorite pastime is spending time with her adorable new puppy, Bailey Valentine. As the weather gets nicer she hopes to learn to play tennis. Courtney is looking forward to getting to know the patients at Pisgah Family Health.

Courtney replaces Ambra Davidson, who moved on to a full time position with another medical group.

Welcome Paul Douglas Curran

Paul Douglas Curran

Dr. Curran's son, Paul Douglas Curran, was born March 7, 2007.  He weighed 8 pounds, 5 ounces, and was 20.5 inches long.  He is now home and thriving, though his sister Genevieve still thinks he cries too much.  We appreciate your understanding during our office closure for Dr. Curran's paternity leave.

Ridgefield's Walking Trail is complete

Ridgefield Business Park (our business home) has installed a 1.25 mile off-road trail for recreational walkers and joggers. The trail passes directly in front of our office, and makes a loop around the entire business park. Most of the trail is wooded and covered in mulch. A small segment passes over sidewalks and roads. The trail includes some hills, and is covered in mulch, so walkers should wear sturdy walking shoes. A detailed map is available at our office.

The trail is available at all hours. We hope this will be a resource for our patients interested in maintaining their fitness.

Ridgefield Walking Trail

Thank You for Not Littering

Did you know it takes 10 years for one cigarette butt to biodegrade? Most people wouldn't throw a gum wrapper on the ground, but cigarette butts are commonly dropped or tossed out of car windows. Cigarette butts are not only litter, but they also cause serious health and environmental problems.

Pisgah Family Health is a smoke free work zone, so we ask that you do not smoke anywhere around our office or grounds. If you must smoke in your car, please do not turn your cigarette butts into litter. We request this not only for the health of our staff and patients, but also our environment.

Office Hours

  • Our normal office hours are 9-5 Monday through Thursday, and 9-12 on Friday.
  • We were closed from March 6-12, for the birth of Dr. Curran's son.  Thank you for your consideration.
  • We will be closed on Friday, March 30th.
  • We will be closed Friday-Monday, April 6-9, for Easter Holiday
  • We will be closed on Monday, May 28, for Memorial Day.
  • When the office is closed, emergency care is available at the Urgent Care Centers, and at Mission/Saint Joseph hospitals ER.  Telephone calls are handled by Dr. Curran’s call partners. Dr. Curran shares call with seven local physicians who are all board certified in Family Medicine, and can admit patients to Mission hospitals.
  • Our answering service can be reached after hours at 251-4873.

Office Reminders

Thank you for referring your family and friends to Pisgah Family Health.

Remember to bring your insurance card to each visit and present it to the receptionist when you check in.  This ensures we have the most current insurance information for you.

Please notify our office if you have a new mailing address or phone number.

Medical news

Here comes Allergy Season

With the blooming of flowers and the sprouting of grasses, WNC is officially beginning Allergy Season. Pollen production will be high for the next 2-3 months. There will be a second peak in pollen levels in the fall months.

What is allergic rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis, often called allergies or hay fever, occurs when your immune system overreacts to particles in the air that you breathe. Your immune system attacks the particles, causing symptoms such as sneezing and a runny nose. The particles are called allergens, which simply means they can cause an allergic reaction.

People with allergies usually have symptoms for many years. You may have symptoms throughout the year, or just at certain times. You also may get other problems such as sinusitis and ear infections as a result of your allergies.

Over time, allergens may begin to affect you less, and your symptoms may not be as severe as they had been.

What are the symptoms of allergic rhinitis?

In most cases, when you have allergic rhinitis:

  • You sneeze frequently, especially after you wake up in the morning.
  • You have a runny nose and postnasal drip. The drainage from a runny nose caused by allergies is usually clear and thin. But it may become thicker and cloudy or yellowish if you get a nasal or sinus infection.
  • Your eyes are watery and itchy.
  • Your ears, nose, and throat are itchy.

Which allergens commonly cause allergic rhinitis?

You probably know that pollens from trees, grasses, and weeds cause allergic rhinitis. Many people have allergies to dust mites, animal dander, cockroaches, and mold as well. Things in the workplace, such as cereal grain, wood dust, chemicals, or lab animals, can also cause allergic rhinitis.

If you are allergic to pollens, you may have symptoms only at certain times of the year. If you are allergic to dust mites and indoor allergens, you will likely have symptoms all the time.

How is allergic rhinitis diagnosed?

To find out if you have allergies, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and examine you. Knowing what symptoms you have, when you get them, and what makes them worse or better can help your doctor know whether you have allergies or another problem.

If you have severe symptoms, you may need to have allergy tests to find out what you are allergic to. Your doctor may do a skin test. In this test your doctor puts a small amount of an allergen into your skin to see if it causes an allergic reaction. Your doctor may order lab tests. These tests can find substances in your blood or other fluids that may mean you have allergic rhinitis.

How is allergic rhinitis treated?

One of the best things you can do is to avoid the things that cause your allergies. You may need to clean your house often to get rid of dust, animal dander, or molds. Or you may need to stay indoors when pollen counts are high.

Unless you have another health problem, such as asthma, you may be able to treat your symptoms at home with medicines you can buy without a prescription. Claritin (Loratadine)is a 24-hour nonsedating antihistamine which is now available without a prescription.

If home treatments do not help or the over-the-counter medicines make you sleepy or cause other side effects that bother you, then your doctor can prescribe medicines. These medicines can relieve your allergy symptoms with fewer side effects than over-the-counter medicines. Allegra and Zyrtec are prescription antihistamines in the same family as Claritin. Nasal sprays and eye drops with antihistamines or steroids are also useful to treat the symptoms of allergies.

Finding the treatment that works best for you may take a little time. You may need to try several medicines before you find the one that works for you.

If your allergies bother you a lot and you cannot avoid the things you are allergic to, you and your doctor can decide if you should get skin testing and allergy shots (immunotherapy) to help control your symptoms. This requires a referral to an Allergist.

Source: WebMD

April is Suicide Awareness Month

Depression is an extremely common illness - at least 10% of the population will require treatment for depression in their lifetime. Unfortunately, due to social stigma, many people are reluctant to discuss or seek treatment for their depression. In it's severest form, depression can lead to suicide. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death amung teens, and a common cause of death in the elderly as well.

Unfortunately, the symptoms depression include hopelessness and apathy. Therefore, a depressed person may lack the motivation to seek treatment. Often, treatment is obtained due to the urging of others. If you or someone you know is depressed, seek treatment. If you or someone you know is suicidal, this is a medical emergency.

Warning Signs of Suicide

  • Talking about suicide.
  • Statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness.
  • Preoccupation with death.
  • Suddenly happier, calmer.
  • Loss of interest in things one cares about.
  • Visiting or calling people one cares about.
  • Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order.
  • Giving things away.

Risk Factors

The first step in preventing suicide is to identify and understand the risk factors. A risk factor is anything that increases the likelihood that persons will harm themselves. However, risk factors are not necessarily causes. Research has identified the following risk factors for suicide:

  • History of mental disorders, particularly depression
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • History of alcohol and substance abuse
  • Family history of suicide
  • Family history of child maltreatment
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
  • Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
  • Loss (relational, social, work, or financial)
  • Physical illness
  • Easy access to lethal methods
  • Unwillingness to seek help because of the stigma attached to mental health and substance abuse disorders or suicidal thoughts
  • Cultural and religious beliefs—for instance, the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
  • Local epidemics of suicide
  • Isolation, a feeling of being cut off from other people

Who to call


Suicide prevention line that will access and counsel callers immediately, then connect them to their closest community suicide crisis resource.
CALL: 1-800-784-2433 (24hr)
E-MAIL: www.hopeline.com

May is Better Sleep Month

May has been declared "Better Sleep Month." Are you part of the 37% of adults that feel they don't get enough sleep?

According to a survey by the Better Sleep Council, the top three factors that rob people of sleep are:

  1. Work- and/or family-related stress
  2. Ailments such as an allergy or cold
  3. Uncomfortable mattress or pillows.

Fortunately, there are a number of approaches people can use to improve their sleep, including regular exercise, establishing regular bed and wake times, dietary changes, and improving the sleep environment. The Better Sleep Council recommends that the bedroom be dark, cool, and quiet. Also, people should sleep on mattresses that provide superior comfort and the right support – an old mattress or box springs may need to be replaced.

To help you Start Every Day with a Good Night’s Sleep™, the Better Sleep Council and the National Sleep Foundation recommend these ten valuable sleep tips:

  1. Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule, including weekends.
  2. Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine, such as soaking in a hot bath or hot tub and then reading a book or listening to soothing music.
  3. Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.
  4. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  5. Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex. It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment.
  6. Finish eating at least two to three hours before your regular bedtime.
  7. Exercise regularly. It is best to complete your workout at least a few hours before bedtime.
  8. Avoid nicotine (e.g., cigarettes, tobacco products). Used close to bedtime, it can lead to poor sleep.
  9. Avoid caffeine (e.g., coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) close to bedtime. It can keep you awake.
  10. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime. It can lead to disrupted sleep later in the night.


Health Links

For more health information, check out these links:

About our Newsletter

Dr. Curran and the staff at Pisgah Family Health are proud to publish the Pisgah Family Health News to our patients.  Our goal is to provide regularly updated information about the office and current medical topics.  We plan to publish a new issue each quarter with breaking news.  The newsletters will also be archived on our website, http://www.pisgahfamilyhealth.com/

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