In the past year, a lot of us spent a good amount of time indoors due to the pandemic. Many used this time to catch up on sleep, entertainment, and even quality time with family. Others saw the opportunity to become better cooks or to pick up a hobby. For many of us, though, it was the chance to organize and clean our homes. Unfortunately, this led to a sore throat and runny nose. Wondered if it was COVID-19? You wouldn’t be alone.
More than likely, if this was your first time organizing or cleaning in a while (due to being busy and all), that runny nose and sore throat came from indoor allergies – dust, mold, or even pet dander.
Let’s use dust as the most obvious example.
You move old boxes around the closet and find a blanket of dust behind them. As you move things, the settled dust moves around. The same goes for the other allergens too.
So, what are you supposed to do? Just let your home get cluttered and disorganized, all in the name of staying symptom-free?
Maybe. I’m not a doctor and am no expert. But here’s what the experts have to say:
Cleaning up to prevent sore throat and runny nose
Obviously, if we leave our homes and living spaces cluttered and dirty, we’re going to experience those allergy symptoms like a runny nose and sore throat much more frequently. It may be painful to start the cleaning up process, but on the other side of it, you’ll be glad you took that step.
Here are a few tricks to help you clean with allergies in mind:
- Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter
- Wear a glove and mask (cotton-lined gloves if allergic to latex)
- Disposable dust wipes
- Wash your pets and keep them out of your bedroom
- Change out the AC filter monthly
- Reduce mold and dust mites by keeping the temperature between 68 and 72 degrees
- During pollen season, take shoes and outerwear off at the door when entering the home
As said before, even as you clean, you’re going to stir up some dust and other allergens so prepare yourself for symptoms.
If that happens, here’s what you can do to relieve a sore throat and runny nose.
Remedies for a runny nose
- Take a hot shower – Steam and hot water will break up mucus and help it flow better.
- Eat spicy foods
- Nasal irrigation – Neti Pot is a great tool to remove mucus from the nasal passages.
- Get more sleep
- Nasal spray
- Hot beverages, preferably hot tea
Remedies for a sore throat
- Gargle salt water
- Hot beverages, preferably tea
- Over-the-counter pain medications
- Consume honey
- Drink plenty of water
- Use a humidifier
Same-day allergy testing and treatment
At the Ear, Nose & Throat Institute, we offer same-day allergy testing. If you know you have allergies but need to know why, we can get you results in minutes. We also offer at-home allergy therapy. Watch the videos below to learn more:
To schedule an appointment, call or click the button below.
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- Mayo Clinic Staff (2020, July 21) Sore throat – Symptoms and causes [Medical Website] Retrieved on December 30th, 2020 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sore-throat/symptoms-causes/syc-20351635
- Biggers, A., MD, MPH (2019, May 14) How to Stop a Runny Nose: 7 Home Remedies That Work [Health Article] Retrieved on December 30th, 2020 from https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-stop-a-runny-nose
- Leverette, M. (2020, November 6) Cleaning Tips for Anyone With Allergies [Article] Retrieved on December 31st, 2020 from https://www.thespruce.com/cleaning-tips-to-reduce-allergens-4138161