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Apr 4, 2013

Healthy Living tackles the sniffles of allergies

What do pets, flowers and mold have in common? If the first things that come to mind are an itchy, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes and congestion, then that means that you are one of millions of persons worldwide that suffer from nasal allergies. If you or your loved ones suffer from allergies, then tonight’s Healthy Living offers a bit of knowledge and advice that just might help.


Doctor Atanascio Cob, Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist

“Allergic retinitis is extremely common. It is one of the most common conditions we see in our practice.”


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Doctor Atanascio Cob is an ear nose and throat specialist. He has seen countless patients who have consulted with him on how to manage the inescapable effects of allergies.


Atanascio Cob

Doctor Atanascio Cob

“Allergic retinitis is the response of our- in the case of the nose- of exaggerated response to something that irritates it. Consequently it’ll give us inflammation sneezing runny nose stuffy nose.  Seasonal allergies are known as the ones that occur during certain times of the year. For example now when its dusty windy dusty, windy, lots of flowers blooming, plants we have the person who typically suffer allergies now these times of the year. Then you have the perennial allergies those who suffer allergies throughout their entire life throughout the whole year.”


But why are some people spared of the miserable effects of seasonal & perennial allergies? It’s all about genetics and environment.


Doctor Atanascio Cob

“Fiancés who marry people who are allergic will have about; if one person is allergic about twenty-five percent of their children will suffer with this condition. If the two parents have allergies then fifty to one hundred percent of their children will have allergy problems as well. They say that there is about close to a million days lost worldwide in school days for children. So for maybe somebody who doesn’t have allergy problems this is a non-issue. But those people who suffer it have terrible issues with sleeping congested poor performance at school at work daytime drowsiness and of course very costly.”


Allergies are triggered by what would normally be considered harmless substances in our environment. The key to coping with allergies is to learn what exactly those substances or triggers are.


Doctor Atanascio Cob

“Here the perennial allergies are things like simple things, dust mites that live in our mattress, our pillows, cockroaches, mice, and pets. Talking about the dust mites people use to say it’s the dust; it’s not really the dust. We have found out that if you apply pure dust to the nose the person will not have an allergy reaction. But it is the mites, a very tiny little insect that is family to the spider, he predominantly comes out in the night and feeds on the shedding of our skin and so the feces of the dust mites, have a very powerful allergenic effect on the nose. And so the child will go to bed at night and wake up in the mornings with allergies.”


Other common triggers include pollen from plants and flowers. Animal dander – flakes of your pets skin – is a common trigger as well, other culprits may be the pet’s saliva or urine. Mold, which is very common in humid countries like Belize is another recurrent trigger. The problem with allergies is not just the miserable immediate effects. Allergies can also worsen asthma and other respiratory illnesses.


Doctor Atanascio Cob

“Allergy conditions predispose to other conditions for example sinus conditions, throat conditions, voice problems ear problems eye allergies if spreads up to all the areas in the mucus membranes in the head and neck area.”


Cleaning your environment to remove known triggers, wash bedding once a week with hot water, remove plants from the vicinity and clear out areas or items prone to mold. Some of the traditional remedies can work as well.


Doctor Atanascio Cob

“Old time people use to take out their mattress in the sun and keep it in the sun for a day. Maybe they didn’t have any scientific background but it decreases the amounts of mites, they cannot survive in high temperatures.  Vicks is one of the things that gives temporary relief it cools down the nose and people say go in the sea & put mi child in there. That has a soothing effect because of the salt water. It decongests and actually dehydrates the mucus membranes. Remember the allergies makes the membranes very swollen, very buggy looking filled with water and that’s why you can’t breathe. When you dump them in the sea and you put your head down the salty water actually dehydrates the membrane so it improves it and it improves the sinus conditions too.”


As for the doctor’s advice, his treatment is geared towards prevention and control. The less the doctor’s visit, the better.


Doctor Atanascio Cob

“I would start first with education.  There is no way I can cure this patient. If I can modify his lifestyle his attitude, the way he carries himself. And educate him about medication, when to take medications and things like that that will help…and he doesn’t have to visit me every time he has a flare up.  The way I treat allergies is prevention, take antihistamine…concentrate more on the sprays cause I know they will give more long term relief.”

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