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Home / More Lifestyle / How to survive winter allergies

How to survive winter allergies

Outpatient departments (OPD) of hospitals and independent clinics in Delhi have seen a rise in cases of allergies for the past two weeks.

more-lifestyle Updated: Dec 12, 2019 14:08 IST
Rhythma Kaul
Rhythma Kaul
Hindustan Times
Outpatient departments (OPD) of hospitals and independent clinics in Delhi have seen a rise in cases of allergies for the past two weeks.
Outpatient departments (OPD) of hospitals and independent clinics in Delhi have seen a rise in cases of allergies for the past two weeks.(Unsplash)

If you are down with symptoms such as sneezing, sniffing, and a runny nose, it might not be cold that you are suffering from but winter allergies that are commonly reported with the drop in temperatures.

Outpatient departments (OPD) of hospitals and independent clinics in Delhi have seen a rise in cases of allergies for the past two weeks.

“There has been a jump of about 20% in the number of allergy cases that we get now as compared to what we used to get about 10 days ago. Allergies are common during the onset of winters because people spend more time in a closed environment, and are exposed to indoor pollutants,” says Dr Srikant Sharma, senior consultant, department of medicine, Moolchand Hospital.

Winter allergies are essentially indoor allergies due to less ventilated spaces that increase exposure to indoor allergens such as dust mites, dust particles etc. Some people, especially children and elderly, are also allergic to fog particles that tend to also aggravate the already existing symptoms.

Since symptoms of allergies are almost similar to that of bacterial and viral infections, people often confuse an allergy with flu or the common cold.

“Allergies usually come with associated symptoms that tend to last longer because of constant exposure to the allergens. Cases of pollen allergies usually go down in winters as we mostly see symptoms due to exposure to allergens largely found indoors,” says Dr RK Singal, chairman, department of internal medicine, BLK Super-Speciality Hospital.

If it is common cold then the symptoms will not last for more than a week or 10 days. In viral infections, the symptoms will be accompanied by headache, joint ache, dry cough, and a low grade fever. If it is a bacterial infection then the sputum (phlegm) will be yellow or greenish in colour, and there is high-grade fever and sore throat.

In cases of allergies, however, there will be associated symptoms such as itchy skin, burning or itchy eyes, throat irritation etc.

The solution lies in avoiding exposure to triggers.

“Though we put cases of severe allergy on anti-inflammatory medicines but that is a temporary solution. People must try to identify the allergens and avoid them as far as possible, especially the sudden change of temperature that is harmful. Switch off the heater or AC before going out so that the body gets used to ambient temperature. The body reacts to any changes in temperature beyond 8 degrees,” said Dr Sharma.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text)

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