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Five tips to avoid winter allergies

Winter is here and brings with it, apart from parties and gaiety, all those annoying allergies that kill the fun. But don’t worry, there are ways to fight them.

twitter-logoManu Kaushik | Print Edition: December 16, 2007

Eat smart: Allergic responses to certain foods may cause a number of symptoms ranging from eczema to asthma. Says Dr Shubnum Singh, Senior Consultant, Max Hospital, New Delhi: “Common culprits are milk, yoghurt, cheese, ice cream, banana, cucumber, and eggs. Fruit juices and green tea are rich in antioxidants that help reduce allergies.”

Swear off smoking: Cigarette smoke contains a number of toxic chemicals. Says Dr Ashutosh Shukla, Consultant, Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon: “People with allergies are more sensitive to cigarette smoke than others. Common symptoms of smoke irritation are burning eyes, coughing and shortness of breath.”

Sidestep sinusitis: Says Dr Shukla: “One of the main symptoms of allergies is a swollen nasal passage. Sinus infections bring along a variety of unpleasant symptoms: pain and tenderness in sinus areas, fever, headaches and sore throat.” Help your body avoid sinus infections; get plenty of rest and drink lots of water.

Beware of the sun: Remember, winter sun can be as dangerous for the skin as summer sun. Says Dr Singh: “Sunscreen can help protect you from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. Avoid wearing perfumes in the sun as they react to sunrays.” Contact you doctor if you get rashes.

Get omega-3s: Says Dr Shukla: “If you suffer from food allergies, then you may want to consider taking Omega-3 fatty acids, which contain natural anti-inflammatory agents.” Good sources of Omega-3 are soyabean, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and salmon.

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