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Santa Ana winds bothering your allergies? Try these tips

December 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
For people with asthma and allergies, the Santa Ana winds are still a daily nuisance. The unusually strong winds kick up allergens, causing a host of miserable symptoms.

You might be feeling it in your nose, throat and eyes. Thanks to last week's strong winds and the continuing Santa Anas, allergy doctors are reporting a boom of business. But you don't have to continue suffering.

"Once that wind blows we have several days afterwards that we're dealing with people that suffer from allergies having persistent symptoms, because it does bring up a lot of mold, it brings up pollen and it brings up a lot of dust that irritates people's symptoms," said Dr. Joseph Shapiro, Northridge Hospital Medical Center.

Those 90-mile-per-hour gusts kicked up buried soot and carried pollen and pollution from miles away.

Dr. Shapiro says allergy sufferers should continue to take cover.

"Keep the windows closed," said Shapiro. "You also want to keep your air purifiers going so you can filter out any of the allergens and irritants that get into the house. Make sure you change your filters on a regular basis."

But you've got to go out some time. So Dr. Shapiro recommends taking precautions before you head out.

"These include antihistamines and nasal decongestants, as well some of these sinus-irrigation techniques that allow a person to clean out the irritants that build up inside their sinus cavities and nasal cavities," said Shapiro.

Your nose and throat aren't the only things affected by the high winds. Doctors report many patients are complaining about dry skin and irritated eyes.

"There's some great over-the-counter eye drops and also, even better prescription eye drops, as well as saline eye drops that can be very effective with just washing out whatever irritants are getting in their eyes," said Shapiro.

Dr. Shapiro also recommends drinking plenty of water and keeping dry skin moisturized.

Dr. Shapiro says the change in barometric pressure can also trigger allergic symptoms.

If your symptoms persist, he recommends you see an allergist to create a long-term treatment plan, which may include regular medication and/or allergy shots.


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