The rainy season brings along a number of air borne and water borne diseases. People face problems in throat, nose and ear.
Prof. (Dr) J. M. Hans, Chairman E.N.T. Rockland hospital, says, “Our body’s immunity reduces due to dehydration during the summer and becomes susceptible to the diseases associated with rains. The diseases include malaria, dengue, jaundice, gastrointestinal infections like typhoid and cholera, and also the viral infections like cold and cough. ENT problems also resurface this time around as the external ear cannel lined by the Squamous-cell carcinoma is susceptible to infections.”
Dr Hans, further adds, “Some people love to itch their ears and also put cotton buds, sticks, feathers or cloth inside their ears and itch it. This is a strict no as fungus is breeding everywhere. So, these might contain fungus, and once you put it inside your ear it starts growing there. This causes the ears to itch vigorously for a day or two and then the problem worsens with complaints of earache and a feeling of blockage.”
To avoid all this, it is very important to boost our immunity and take proper precautions. Another area of concern is the fungal infections caused by fungus and yeast that thrive in wet skin folds like underarms, groins and under the breasts. Feet are another area for such infections especially amongst those who wear shoes and socks throughout the day.
Ensure that clothes, socks, footwear etc are dry. Use adequate talcum powder. Also, drink boiled/filtered water. Avoid drinks and ice that is not made from filtered water.
Also, we drink cold beverages during summers to overcome heat. In monsoons, most of the people prefer cold water. This can lead to throat infections and fever. Prefer hot beverages like herbal tea and soups. It will keep the body warm and also boost the immune system.
Your monsoon diet must include dairy products as they can boost your immune system and fight germs that might attack you. A glass of hot milk is healthy and nutritious.
Dr. Savyasachi Saxena, Consultant, ENT, Columbia Asia hospital, Ghaziabad, says, “During monsoon, fungal infection in ears increases. This causes pain, and itching. Also, people who have a small hole in the ear drum undergo trouble. Due to this ear discharge begins and this is a big problem that may even require surgery.”
Dr Saxena stresses that it is important to take care of hygiene during this time. “Children are soft targets as they catch monsoon infections quickly. It is important to change their clothes everyday and ask them to wash hands at regular intervals. Also getting the AC filters cleaned is very important.”
Dr Chanchal Pal, ENT specialist at Moolchand Medicity says, “Fungal infection in the ear, skin infection, allergic reaction and throat infection along with viral infection are common during monsoon. High temperature due to tonsil infection is also common. Drinking cold water, sudden change of temperature, itching ears contribute to 30 per cent of the hike in these diseases. After taking medicine regularly for a week, throat and skin problems subside.
However, fungal infections in the ear could take 21 days to cure.” Children are soft targets during monsoon. Since children have a low immunity, it is seen that they are affected most by viral diseases. So, there are lots of cases of mumps, measles, and other viral infections. Sore throat and runny nose is usually an added symptom. It is best to consult with a doctor and get appropriate treatment to solve the problems.
Tips to combat illnesses during monsoon:
- Do not allow the kids to play in stagnant water.
- Do not enter air-conditioned room with wet hair and damp clothes.
- Dry your feet and hand with soft dry cloth whenever they are wet and keep the surroundings dry and clean.
- Food poisoning is very common. Eat only homemade and well-cooked food. Avoid food from vendors.
- Throw out the food having strange odour or mould. Eat raw vegetables and fruits only when properly washed and freshly peeled.
- Eat a balanced and protein rich diet. Avoid seafood and all dairy products until they have been properly pasteurised.
- Avoid fruits and vegetables that have been pre-cut or peeled and kept in open. Always remember that raw chopped vegetables and fruits get spoilt fast.