Dust and Your Throat
Household dust is harmless to most of us and we don’t really notice it around us and can live quite happily, whilst for others it can become a real problem and affect their throat and breathing.
Why Dust Affects The ThroatDust is around us most of the time and for the greatest part of this time, we don’t even notice it. As we inhale however, we are most likely to be drawing dust particles into our nose and mouth and this can act as an irritant.Like anything else that gets in the throat, even though it is small, dust is a foreign body and the smooth tissues of the throat don’t like it. It not only irritates the tissues but it can be very drying and affect swallowing and comfort.
Dust AllergyOne of the more common forms of allergy is a dust allergy, and this condition affects many people both young and old.A simple dust allergy may result in a post-nasal drip which means the nasal secretions drip from the back of the nose into the throat. This can be very annoying and leave the person frustrated as the symptoms can continue for some time.
More severe allergies can include symptoms such as eyes watering (even streaming) coughing as the airway is affected and tries to clear itself of the foreign body, an increase in mucous secretions, a rash and even sinusitis. Each sufferer will experience a unique allergic reaction and should learn what remedies work for them.
Dust As An IrritantMost of us will become irritated by dust when we are exposed to more than a normal level. This can result in coughing and sneezing as the mucous membranes of the nose and throat become sensitive and irritated by the particles.
Treating The SymptomsMost people will be able to cope with their symptoms without needing to use anything. However, persistent symptoms can be treated using a throat gargle such as warm water that can rinse the throat away or by taking regular sips.
Medications such as anti-histamines can be useful if you have a definite allergy to the dust or dust mites and using special plug-in air purifiers and humidifiers can help ease the symptoms.
Preventing Dust Affecting Your ThroatIf you are carrying out any activity that you know will produce large amounts of dust such as when plastering a wall, making amendments in the home or even when cleaning out the loft, always wear protective equipment such as a mask and goggles. Many of the more popular hardware shops stock suitable and affordable equipment that allow for comfort and ease of breathing, whilst preventing dust from entering the airway.
Another way to make sure you are dust free is to keep on top of the housework by regular vacuuming and floor-cleaning. Animal fur and dust can collect in all the little nooks and crannies and can be a source of irritation. Soft furnishings should also be cleaned, either by vacuuming them using special vacuum attachments, washing or dry cleaning. Always read the label or manufacturers guidelines before attempting to clean luxurious and expensive fabrics.
If you have soft toys, put these in a bag in the freezer over night, likewise for your pillows as the freezing temperatures will kill any dust mites and allow you to sleep easier at night.
Dust allergy and irritation are very common and rarely cause any serious adverse effects and in most cases can be controlled at home without the need for medicinal or medical treatment.