Smart ways to protect yourself against winter allergies

 In Allergic, Article, Asthma

With the temperature dropping, it’s likely to have a stuffed nose, watery eyes, sneezing, etc. These happen if you have a cold or allergy so how to know the difference? If you have watery or clear nasal secretions, itchy eyes, and throat, and your symptoms persist for weeks then it is an indication of allergy. Allergies are all around the year but during winters because one sits indoors with little to no outside air exposure and with the heater on, in case the allergens exist in one’s indoors then your exposure to these allergens spikes.

As pets are mostly inside during winter, your exposure to pet dander escalates during the season. To avoid winters, going to summer places will increase one’s exposure to pollens. Damp wood hosts mold spores so when you want to light your fireplace for warmth, having these molds inside can trigger a classic allergy.

Though allergens are present all year, the indoor air being drier due to the heater leads to a dry nose, increasing the risk of nose bleeding and with the cold temperature it is very likely to catch a cold. So, all this can worsen the winter allergy.

Here are some ways to tame winter allergies:

Reduce or eliminate exposure to allergens: If you are allergic to damp leaves then it’s better to stay indoors when the wind is blowing and indoor allergens such as pet dander could be kept to a minimum by mopping or sweeping.

Keeping yourself clean:

You heard it right! Washing your hands and face reduces the number of allergens you carry. Taking a shower will remove the allergens from your hair as well and encourage you to change clothes that the allergens could cling onto. A hot water bath could provide you relief from sinus congestion.

Change bedding frequently:

Washing your sheets, pillowcases, and blankets in hot water will keep the allergens down. You should wash them weekly.

Go for quality bedding:

Bedding that is less likely to have allergens like dust mites is what you should go for.

Use a humidifier:

Balance the indoor moisture as too little moisture could irritate your nose and throat and too much moisture will lead to mold growth. So, use a humidifier and also have a humidity monitor to maintain the right amount of humidity for you to breathe in.

Intake of fluids:

Keeping yourself hydrated and having enough fluids is essential as continual nasal secretion and dry air can make you dehydrated.

Take steam:

Steam provides relief from nasal congestion. So taking steam from a steamer can serve you well. The steam from the hot drinks can also add to it.

Try all these ways to see if your allergy improves before going for allergy medications. In case, the symptoms don’t seem to get better, then it’s time for you to see an allergy specialist. Dr. Satya Ranjan Sahu is a specialist in chest diseases, critical care, allergy, sleep disorders & bronchoscopy.  Book an appointment today if your symptoms don’t ameliorate.

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