Keep health problems away this Autumn

Come October and Preksha Agarwal just can’t stop sneezing. She says, “Every morning, my first task of the day is to continue to sneeze for two hours at least, followed by another bout in the evening.”

Preksha’s condition is not uncommon considering the fact that spring and autumn – the ongoing month of October, that is – sees the highest amount of pollen and other allergens in the air besides a steep rise in pollutants.

Other than respiratory problems, skin, hair and eye infections also see a sudden surge thanks to the harsh dry winds and noticeable variation in day and night temperatures. However, you need not bear with these medical conditions come every autumn. Metrolife speaks to a few doctors to find out how you can keep them at bay.

Dr Vivek Nangia, director, department of pulmonology, Fortis, Vasant Kunj, says, “I have already started seeing a remarkable rise in the number of patients in my OPD. They come with complaints of sneezing, cough, cold, congestion, viral pneumonia and asthma attacks. While those with a history of asthma have to take certain precautions, unaffected persons should also bear certain safety measures in mind.”

“Firstly, avoid the AC in this season. Don’t take water directly from the refrigerator especially if you have just worked out. Take out the flowering plants at your home and asthmatic patients should refrain from going out in the morning and evening hours. Asthma patients, those with lung, heart and kidney problems and diabetics must necessarily take the Influenza vaccination to keep respiratory problems away.”

With cough and cold in the air, eye problems cannot be far away. Dr Joy Bhagey, consultant, ophthalmologist, Vasan Eye Care, GK, says, “Conjunctivitis is a common problem right from monsoon to early winters. People with cold often rub their eyes without washing their hands leading to the cold causing virus coming in contact with the eye. Other eye problems include dryness, redness, itching and watering of the eyes.”

“If you have a cold, wash your hands frequently and if you have contracted Conjunctivitis, wear dark glasses. Don’t let your eyes get dry with regular use of moisturising eye drops and avoid blowers and heaters as they dehydrate not just your skin but the eyes too.”

Those who suffer from dry, scaly and flaky skin, besides the scalp every autumn, know the trauma well. So for them, Dr Pikun Gangwani, Dermatologist and Aesthetic Surgeon, Skin and Hair Clinic, says, “This season affects the young and older population mostly manifesting in problems like Atopic Dermatitis – red patches on the skin – and Psoriasis – marked by scaly patches. Usage of a very mild soap and moisturiser is recommended.”

“As for the scalp and hair,” he says, “Hairfall is common at this time and not really a cause for worry, but use a mild shampoo and cover your head with a cap or scarf, especially as winter approaches. Regular consumption of hair supplements like Biotin and Calcium pantothenate will also keep hair problems at bay.”

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