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Apr 11, 2019

Healthy Living: Coping with Allergies

It attacks almost instantaneously. The truth is only allergy sufferers know the pain of being hypersensitive to things in the environment that can turn them into a sneezy mess in an instant. If this sounds like your reality, then tonight’s Healthy Living has a few tips to help you cope.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting
When spring rolls around in North America, allergy sufferers prepare for what would be their most challenging time of year. But what about us here in the tropics, where for long many have believed that the sea breeze and lack rigid temperature changes means that we’re saved from seasonal allergies. According to Ear Nose & Throat Specialist, Doctor Atanacio Cob, seasonal allergies may not apply to us here, but it doesn’t mean we’re spared.


Atanacio Cob

Dr. Atanacio Cob, Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist

“We divide allergies as a temporary allergy or a perennial or annual problem. We would think the time when the fruits are blooming, and there is the mangoes, cashews well known they are family members that’s the most of the time and also the time when the dry season when there is a lot of dust. The rainy season is also a time when we see a lot of allergies because there is a proliferation of molds. So we would say that in Belize we have allergies most of the time of the year.”


Dr. Cob explains that he finds that patients are still unable to recognize that they have been suffering from allergies and often times mistake it for a cold.


Dr. Atanacio Cob

“They have similar symptoms. The common cold, the allergies, and the sinuses.  The allergy when you get exposed to it very soon you react to it with the itchy nose the runny nose, and within two-three hours it’s gone. So the person could come and say in the mornings I get a bad cold and by ten o’clock, it’s gone. That is more an allergy.  The cold it comes with a little low-grade fever, the person starts to feel a little achy, maybe a little pressure in the head and it lasts more than three hours. Its one two three, six seven days and its gone.”


Sinus Infections would be an infection in one of our sinus cavities resulting from flu or severe allergies. Many allergy sufferers self medicate. Taking antihistamines, you can buy at any pharmacy. While this is one way of coping. Dr. Cob explains that it is even more critical to control your environment.


Dr. Atanacio Cob

“If your workplace has carpet, how often it’s cleaned. Its going to generate dust and collect dust and mold. If your ceiling has a problem with leakage of water, its going to generate molds. If there are cockroaches all around the place, the same protein of the cockroaches will generate allergies. So environmental control is first. At home the people who suffer allergies should have their room as empty and as clean as possible. So collection of bags shoes, clothing that they dont use and storage, boxes, all these things have to be taken out.  The old thing that our grandma used to do with takeout the mattress and put it in the sun. It kills the dust mites, and it reduces the population of this allergens. You can also cover your mattress you can cover your pillow with plastic cover, and it prevents the dust mites to come out in the night. The dust mite comes out when we are sleeping, and it feeds on the epidermal cells that we shed, and so we are allergic not just to the dust mite itself but also the faces and the excretory products of the little dust mite, we inhale it, and then in the morning we are suffering with terrible sneezing spells and feeling miserable.”


In addition to being mindful of crawling dust mites at night. Indoor pets and flowering plants can also be triggers for your allergies. As for medication, he explained that while antihistamines may help suppress symptoms. Medicated nose sprays are proven to be far more helpful.


Dr. Atanacio Cob

“What’s effective in the long term is steroids. The nasal steroids. They reduce the symptoms too, and it reduced the inflammation of the nose. So eventually the person is going to be less sensitive to the allergen less inflammation of the long term and the quality of life gets much better.”


He also recommends salt and water or saline solutions to flush out the nose of allergens. While it is true that allergies won’t kill you, for allergy sufferers they know that it can severely affect your quality of life. So hopefully, you can use some of these tips to better cope with the itchy, stuffy, sneezy symptoms of your allergies.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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