Your Mask Might Also Shield You From Allergies

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay reporter

FRIDAY, March 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Here’s a benefit to having to strap a mask on your face when going out in public: This mask can also help guard against severe spring allergies, according to an expert.

Many patients with spring allergies are doing well this season as they spend more time indoors and wear a mask when going out, said Dr. Do-Yeon Cho, associate professor of otolaryngology. at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“A study published in 2020 showed that allergic rhinitis [hay fever] symptoms in nurses had been significantly reduced with the use of a face mask during the COVID-19 pandemic, ”Cho said in an academic press release.

Any type of facial covering can dramatically reduce pollens and allergens that can get into your nose and mouth, he noted. However, it is important not to touch the front of your mask when removing it and not to turn the mask over when reusing it.

Continued

Besides wearing a mask, there are other things you can do to reduce symptoms of spring allergies.

Identify your allergens and if you are allergic to spring pollens, limit outdoor activities when the pollen count is high.

“Most weather reports during allergy season give a pollen count,” Cho said. “By using high efficiency particulate absorbance, or HEPA, air filters during allergy season can reduce exposure to allergens.”

Take allergy medication before the pollen season begins to prevent your body from releasing histamines and other chemicals that cause allergic symptoms, he recommended.

Take a bath and shampoo every day before going to bed, to remove pollens.

“Change your clothes and wash your nose with saline solution when you enter the house,” Cho suggested. “Wash your bedding and clothes in hot, soapy water and dry your clothes in a dryer, not on an outside line.”

He explained that once “temperatures warm up, dormant trees come back to life and release pollen into the air. Some common culprits include birch, cedar and walnut, and the season could last until the end of the day. mid-May. “

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Spring showers can wash away pollen and prevent it from drifting into the air, but moisture from rain can cause similar symptoms in people with dust and mold allergies, Cho said.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on allergic rhinitis.

SOURCE: University of Alabama at Birmingham, press release, March 23, 2021

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