Winter Woes

Nov 28 2012, 12:26 IST
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SummaryThe cold rush brings with it a number of allergies to watch out for this season

The cold rush brings with it a number of allergies to watch out for this season

Along with the chill in the air, comes a host of viruses and allergens that can be a problem in the winters. It’s that time of the year when microscopic bugs such as bugs, dust mites, ticks and moulds flourish in mattresses and bedding. When their droppings and remains become airborne, they can cause severe discomfort. Even the fungi, that thrives in humid and damp areas such as bathrooms and the corners of the balconies and store rooms are effective in triggering allergy symptoms when their spores get into the air.

Those who are allergic to pollen are better off staying home this season. There are chances of their being allergic to in-house allergens that become a major concern for allergies such as coughing, sneezing, itching and watering of eyes, a running nose and dark circles.

One may easily mistake an allergy for a common cold or a case of influenza but they need to be careful and take proper treatment for the same. In many cases, the allergies are determined at a stage where before it reaches a point where it can be easily controlled. “Though allergies are a common thing in countries where snowfall happens or in the spring time when there is a lot of pollen in the air, there are many cases of allergies that go ignored until it gets very stressful for the person. Even woollen clothes might trigger allergies. The key to control you allergies is to always be ready with anti-allergens and even more importantly, to find out what one is allergic to, in the first place,” says Dr Ramesh Ranka, general physician. “During seasonal changes there are outbursts of various allergies. The patient is checked for typical symptoms that determine whether they are suffering from a common cold or an allergy. The patient will have a runny nose in both cases but, in case of allergy, there will be clear liquid and in case of a common cold there will be thick mucus. When one is suffering from an allergy, their eyes and nose will have a constant itch. Most hospitals nowadays have an allergy test facility,” says Dr Prasun Mishra. Around 250 common allergens are injected into the skin in very low doses to check for the exact allergen that the patient is allergic to. Once

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