Fighting Off Fall Allergies And Common Winter Ailments
Sneezing, congestion, coughing, and wheezing are definitely not on your Holiday wish list, but somehow, they always seem to be delivered just in time for the seasonal holidays. The crisp air and falling temperatures can also bring a season filled with fall allergy symptoms, sinusitis, bronchitis and flares of asthma. So to be ahead of the game, take measures to protect yourself from these common fall and winter ailments.
What Are Fall Allergies?
What Can I Do to Avoid Fall Allergies ?
There are a few things you can do to reduce symptoms and avoid contact with fall allergens altogether. By staying indoors more often, you can avoid ragweed and other respiratory irritants that may be floating through the air. However, remember that dust mites and mold can still gather indoors too. Try not to keep too many plants in the house which may gather moldy leaves. Keep your air as clean as possible by checking and replacing filters often. Check online pollen count reports in order to get a forecast of the week’s air quality, making it easier for you to plan your outdoor excursions.
Allergy medications such as OTC antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays can be helpful for both allergic and irritant types of triggers. Its important to stay on top of your allergy medications and start them in early August to stay ahead, before ragweed comes out and mold spores spread.
What is Sinusitis?
What is the Difference between Bronchitis and Asthma?
Bronchitis is swelling of the large airways in your lungs that can result in a bad wet cough. This is commonly due to infections from viruses and bacteria but may be caused by allergies as well. Asthma is a swelling of the smaller airways in the lungs that usually results in a dry hacking cough accompanied by a whistling sound or wheeze. Winter asthma can be triggered by infections, exercise, or even laughter when you are having a jolly time during the holidays! Other major triggers include indoor allergens such as dust mites, molds and pet dander. Breathing in cold air alone can lead to coughing and wheezing attacks. Winter time is also chock full of respiratory viruses and germs that commonly cause asthma.
What Can I Do?
Beware of the Flu Bug…
The fall and winter months present plenty of opportunities for viruses to spread. Chilly weather keeps more of us indoors and the holiday season brings together family members of all ages. The cold and flu (influenza) can occur anytime, but appear mostly in the fall and winter. For most people, viral respiratory illnesses are usually mild and last only a few days. The flu however can be severe, especially if you are elderly or have a compromised immune system. Even if you are healthy, the flu bug can make you feel lousy with a fever, sore throat, muscle aches, joint pains and extreme fatigue. Breathing problems can also become serious, especially in asthmatics. An annual influenza vaccination is a smart way to avoid one of the most common triggers of winter asthma.
Talk to your doctor about ways you and your family can stay healthier this fall and winter. Stay warm and enjoy the holidays !!!
-Dr. Shaz Siddiqi