Talk about the appearance of sneezing, coughing, itching, eye, nose and throat irritation in winter. Respiratory allergies are very common during this time, as the airways become overloaded with changes in temperature.
The WHO (World Health Organization) estimates that about 35% of Brazil’s population has some sort of allergy. One of the most common illnesses in winter is allergic rhinitis.
Rhinitis not only causes discomfort, but is also associated with asthma, which affects 150 million people worldwide. Therefore, in this case, preventing one also means helping to contain the other. Not to mention atopic dermatitis, which is one of the most common skin allergies and can be caused by the same factors as rhinitis (pollen, mold, mites, animal hair).
Discomfort, stuffy nose, sneezing attacks, and excessive runny nose are some symptoms that deprive people suffering from this problem at this time of the year.
During the winter, people usually spend more time indoors or indoors to protect themselves from the cold. And in these environments, people with allergies suffer from substances that exacerbate the problem, and doubling care is essential.
Drinking plenty of water and frequent nasal irrigation will help remove impurities that cause flare.
Another recommended solution is to pre-remove and clean the coats and blankets stored in the closet, take care of them with cleaning products, and keep the environment ventilated.
If you are suffering from this type of allergy, you need to take some precautions to prevent or alleviate the symptoms.
Ventilate the environment: This is a great way to keep mold and mites away, so be sure to ventilate your frequently used environment well and, if possible, keep it in the sun for long periods of the day.
Avoid the accumulation of dust: Avoid or remove dusty items such as rugs, curtains, books, and stuffed animals. Dust and mites collect and attack rhinitis.
Keep your house clean: Clean your house with a broom or squeegee at least twice a week with a damp cloth. If possible, vacuum the house with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner if possible. Some allergens are very small and will pass through normal filters.
The air conditioner also needs to be cleaned regularly as both the filter and the duct collect dust and spread mites into the air.
Moisten the environment: In addition to keeping the environment clean, an important tip during this time when the air is very dry is to keep it humid. For this, use a spray or air humidifier as it can reduce the chance of developing decompensated nasal allergies.
Avoid contact with animals: Bath the animals at least once a week to avoid contact with animals that really cause allergies and to reduce even saliva and mites present on the fur and skin.
Rinse your nose with saline. Washing your nose with saline to keep your nasal mucosa moist will help remove the causative agent of the infection and act as a precautionary measure.
Keep your vaccinations up to date. Keeping the flu and covid-19 vaccines up to date is important. This is a period that promotes viral infections and immunization is essential to protect allergic patients.
How to treat respiratory diseases
There are specific treatments for each type of respiratory allergy. For asthma, if the outbreak is frequent, bronchodilators or low-dose corticosteroid inhalers reduce acute attacks.
For rhinitis, saline nasal lavage is recommended and oral antiallergic intake may be sufficient. In more severe and persistent situations, doctors may prescribe corticosteroid sprays for use on the nose.
There is also the option of a long-term subcutaneous or sublingual allergy vaccine for 2 to 3 years.
* Uses information from reports published June 24, 2021, May 22, 2021, and May 21, 2022.