The excitement across the city of Houston is palpable as our home team returns for weekend games. Whether you are watching the game from the stands, out on the town or from the comfort of your own home, here are some health tips from Baylor College of Medicine experts to help you prepare.

Heartburn

Dr. Hashem El-Serag, chair of medicine and professor of gastroenterology and hepatology at Baylor:

To ease symptoms of acid reflux after eating greasy ballpark food:

  • Take a brief walk after eating
  • Avoid peer pressure to binge eat or drink
  • Make healthy diet choices the following day
  • Pack an antacid

Crowd anxiety

Dr. John Oldham, professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor:

Get anxious in crowded spaces? Have a plan to know exactly where to go and go with someone you are comfortable with. If you feel panicked, practice calming strategies such as reminding yourself to breathe. Consider taking a walk and know what your stress relievers are so you can practice them ahead of time.  

Germs

Dr. Irvin Sulapas, assistant professor of family and community medicine at Baylor and primary care sports medicine physician:

If the game is going in our favor, you’re likely to be tempted to high-five a perfect stranger. Practice good hand hygiene by carrying hand sanitizer and washing your hands frequently. Try not to share drinks with anyone and always cover your mouth using your elbow when you cough or sneeze.

Protect hearing

Dr. Ross Tonini, audiologist at Baylor:

To protect your hearing, consider wearing foam ear plugs. If there is pain in your ears, if your hearing is muffled or if you hear a ringing in your ears, give your ears a break. Move to a quieter area for a while. Remember, you cannot repair the damage to your ears caused by noise.

Heart health

Dr. Christie Ballantyne, professor of medicine and chief of the section of cardiology at Baylor:

They don’t call them heart-stopping plays for nothing. Research has shown that there is an increase in heart attacks following big sporting events. If you have a known heart ailment such as hypertension, coronary artery disease or a family history of heart conditions, be sure to take your medications regularly during the World Series. Be mindful of how you feel and check your blood pressure regularly if you can. When you do so, sit quietly for a few minutes. If your reading is high, wait for a few minutes and repeat.  If you have chest pressure or tightness with symptoms of sweating or shortness of breath that are persistent, don’t write it off as game time stress, head to an emergency room.