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Nurse Your Nose in the Cold

Wintertime affects your nasal passages

SATURDAY, Feb. 8, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- The nose knows when it's cold. And it can suffer, both indoors and out.

"Wintertime causes us to spend more time indoors and therefore individuals have additional exposure to indoor allergens, including pet dander, dust mites, mold spores, feathers and cockroach allergen," says Dr. Clifford Bassett, an allergist at Long Island College Hospital.

More allergens means more exasperating allergies.

To cut down on the number of allergens in your home, use a hygrometer in conjunction with a humidifier. The hygrometer measures how much moisture the humidifier is adding to the air. Shoot for a humidity level of 45 percent to 50 percent, Bassett says. Anything above that will turn your abode into a greenhouse, resulting in more growths to aggravate your respiratory system.

Outside, the problem is a little different but equally annoying.

"Individuals may find cold weather causes the nose to run when outdoors for a prolonged period," Bassett says. This is sometimes referred to as "skier's nose." Try wearing a cold-weather face mask if you're outdoors for prolonged periods. You can also talk to your doctor about prescription nasal sprays.

More information

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has some tips on getting rid of mold.

SOURCE: Clifford Bassett, M.D., allergist, Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn, N.Y.
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