Dealing with allergies during the rainy season

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The rainy season is upon us again — an uncomfortable experience that most people with allergic rhinitis are all too familiar with.

“Allergies are worse during the rainy season,” shares the 23-year-old Deian. “Even the smell of the soil after rain can trigger my allergic rhinitis.”

“Tolerable siya pag nasa Quezon City ako, pero kapag umuuwi ako sa Tagaytay at may change of weather, inaatake ako. This time, two weeks na,” 34-year-old Cath says.

[Translation: It’s tolerable when I am in Quezon City, but when I go home to Tagaytay and experience a change of weather, allergic rhinitis hits me.]

For other people like 23-year-old Vera, allergic rhinitis is worse in the summer. But rain in the country is often preceded or followed by hot weather, which is the perfect condition for allergic rhinitis to flare up.

But it’s not just the rainy season now. COVID-19 cases are increasing, and people with allergic rhinitis may find themselves questioning which is which again.

Allergies lang po!

Runny nose. Coughs. Sore throat. These are symptoms COVID-19 and allergic rhinitis have in common.

“It’s actually funny for me, and at least for the people I know,” Vera says. “Every time I would sneeze in public, I try my best to keep it minimal, and I would literally say ‘allergies lang po!’”

Vera says she doesn’t blame people for keeping their distance when allergic rhinitis symptoms flare up.

The experience is worse in public transportation, especially in jeeps. People with allergic rhinitis get dirty looks when they can't help but sneeze or cough. Sometimes, they have no space to distance themselves from others.

“The bad thing is you won’t have the chance to explain that you are just having your usual allergic rhinitis attack,” says 24-year-old Jheanelle, who experienced getting dirty looks in a jeep before the first lockdown was imposed.

Deian remembers causing a stir in her workplace in June of this year. A new Omicron subvariant was spreading, and it had the same symptoms as allergic rhinitis: sneezing, nasal congestion, and coughing.

“I had to get a medical certificate declaring that I have allergic rhinitis, from my doctor in the province.” She had just moved from Batangas to Taguig then.

Living with allergic rhinitis

People with allergic rhinitis have learned to live with their condition.

“Most days, I just try to live with it and hope it goes away,” Vera says.

Apart from masking up, people with allergic rhinitis keep their rooms clean, stay hydrated, drink soup, or use humidifiers. Sleeping also eases discomfort.

Or they take antihistamine, and it saves the day. For fast relief — as fast 15 minutes — there’s Alnix, especially for bothersome allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itchy/runny nose, itchy/watery eyes, and skin itch or irritation.

Day-to-day living

Allergic rhinitis can be an everyday nuisance. It can affect your mood, productivity, and relationships.

Before sleeping, Deian has to make sure that room temperatures aren’t too hot or cold. That, or risk waking up to sneezes in the middle of the night.

“It’s harder in dormitories. I have to adjust to my roommates. If someone turns off the air conditioner, I will end up waking up and sneezing,” Deian says.

For Jheanelle, having allergic rhinitis is inconvenient during work hours.

“My eyes and nose get itchy. I am forced to stop working because of how teary-eyed I get, which is uncomfortable since I wear glasses,” she says.

Vera even cancels meetings and interviews because of allergic rhinitis. “I work in HR and I do interviews on a daily basis. It’s very difficult talking to people knowing I could sneeze anytime,” she says. “On days when my allergies are full blown, it really gets difficult for me to even get out of bed.”

But with allergy medication like Cetirizine Dihydrochloride (Alnix), people suffering from allergic rhinitis have an option for all-day relief. You can take Alnix once a day for seven days, preferably at night or as prescribed.

Consult your doctor for a Cetirizine Dihydrochloride prescription. To know more about the brand Alnix, visit its Facebook page.

If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.

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