Reaching for a box of tissues? Tips for runny noses in autumn

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Sept 13, 2012 - 20:41
  • Updated : Sept 13, 2012 - 20:41
(MCT Information Services)
For people with allergic problems, the arrival of cool, breezy autumn days is not so pleasant. Temperature fluctuations and low humidity during fall months often cause sneezing, itchy and runny nose, and lots of discomfort, just like in springtime.

Pollen from trees, grass and weeds that floats around in the air trigger allergic reactions, along with mold and dust mites.

“Allergic rhinitis, often mistaken for a cold, goes untreated for a long time,” said Choi Seung-yong, a doctor at Hamsoa Children’s Oriental Medicine Clinic in Nowon, Seoul.

The prevalence of allergic rhinitis among children and adolescents is increasing in Korea.

According to data from the Health Ministry, there was a 130 percent increase in the prevalence of allergic rhinitis among children in the past 15 years ― rising from 32.6 percent of children in 1995 to 43.6 percent in 2010.

In adolescents, the incidence rate changed from 29.8 percent to 42.6 percent during the same period, marking an increase of 140 percent.

When poorly treated, it can lead to chronic nasal problems, affecting their ability to learn, concentrate, and interact socially, doctors warn.

Furthermore, allergic rhinitis is frequently associated with asthma and sinus infections, or sinusitis. About 20 to 38 percent of allergic rhinitis patients have asthma, while 40 percent of them are affected by sinusitis.

Here are some tips from doctors to prevent allergic rhinitis during the early fall months. 

▲ Quit smoking and don’t be around smokers. Cigarette smoke is one of the most common irritants.

▲Wash hands frequently.

▲ Use a humidifier if humidity levels are too low. The ideal indoor humidity is 40 to 60 percent.

▲ Vacuum and clean the house often to keep dust mites, pet dander or other indoor allergy triggers under control

▲ Stay indoors on windy days or use a face mask.

▲ Seek doctor’s advice to prevent allergic rhinitis from leading to more complicated problems

By Lee Sun-young (