Tips on how to protect yourself as the seasons change
TOMS RIVER – Spring is an exciting time for most, but for some seasonal allergies can put a damper at all of the fun outdoor festivities that take place at the Jersey Shore when the weather starts to get warmer.
Like every year around this time, temperatures will fluctuate and go up and go down day to day, or even hour to hour.
Contrary to popular belief, the up and down temperatures are usually not the culprit for your sickness.
Dr. Katherine Szema with ENT and Allergy Associates in Shrewsbury says “…it’s not so much the temperatures that will give you the illness…there are things that you can do to kind of help prevent [sic] from getting sick with some of the common viruses… which are more prevalent during the winter…”
Although in most cases temperatures are not directly related to illness, Dr. Szema says “…lower temperatures… especially in the nasal area… some of the viruses can replicate more readily in those cold dry environments.”
Along with the normal ways to keep healthy that you usually hear from physicians such as eating healthy, not smoking, and getting enough sleep, Dr. Szema says some patients should consider using a humidifier, maintain hand washing, coughing and sneezing into your elbow rather than your hand, avoiding others when sick, and wipe down surfaces.
Dr. Szema goes on to say the most important thing at this time is to have a flu shot and that it is still not too late to get it, “…we do see cases of the flu all the way up until May or June.”
As Spring quickly approaches, trees and flowers start to bloom and it could cause a serious issue for people with moderate to severe seasonal allergies.
“…for many patients I will tell them to use a nasal lavages so they can wash out all of the particles…sometimes we start allergy medication at the start of the season or right before…” Dr. Szema said.
During the season changes, one of the common mistakes people make is the differentiation of the common cold and seasonal allergies. Dr. Szema clarifies:
“Colds will usually last for a few weeks, but allergies… especially if they are seasonal, they can last for month.”
She goes on to say that if something lingers for more than a week or so and you find that you are not getting better, it’s a good idea to see your physician so they can evaluate.
Vin Ebenau contributed to this report.
Mark Anthony is a reporter at Townsquare Media: Mark.Kowalski@townsquaremedia.com
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