Dust Diary: Day 14

Hello everyone. Still in the depths of darkest winter here in the UK. There is a slight South Easterly wind blowing. With temperatures highs of 6 degrees and lows of -1 tonight, enough to test the most thermal of underwear, but not enough to raise even an eyebrow from a Norwegian.

Why am I rambling about the weather all of a sudden? Well, as eczema and respiratory related sufferers will know, the weather plays a huge part in the severity of a person’s symptoms, and therefore their quality of life.

For me, after some recently burn related issues with my skin, I’m actually in reasonably good shape. I don’t have any drastic eczema issues, I don’t have a hugely bad headache or sinus pressure and I’m conquering the dust in my home with military discipline.

However, as seems to happen every single year whether you’re a dust mite person or not, the winter months seem to be particularly troublesome.

I’ve recently suffered a particularly bad cold, and the general feeling of aches, pains and sniffles makes winter more and more of an ordeal.

I’m not sure of the exact science behind this, but I think there are various obvious factors. Firstly, there are more airbone viruses and germs in the air. Everyone is coughing and spluttering over each other, and if you’re in a public environment like a plane or a bus, all these germs are circulating and doing their awful work.

Also, the cold environment seems to dry out the skin, meaning eczema and skin conditions are exacerbated. So, because it’s cold, you turn up the heat on the
air conditioning which circulates yet more germs and dries out your skin even further. It’s all a vicious cycle really, and a monotonous one at that. There are a lot of benefits to living in a cool, damp climate like the UK.

We don’t really have any tropical diseases, no flesh eating viruses, no real predatory animals or plants that can sting you. We’re not really cold enough to get hypothermia and we’re not dry enough to ever worry about where our water is coming from. We don’t bother about mosquitoes and we don’t suffer any particularly hazardous weather.

However the long, dark stretch between summers can be a real grind, especially if your sinuses and respiratory system are already under pressure from allergies. All we can really do is be as conscientious as possible in keeping dust and allergic substances to a minimum, get the rest and shelter that we need and maybe, if possible, seek out warmer climates for a few weeks or months of the year. There really is no better medicine.

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