Battling back against colds and Arizona allergies

PHOENIX - Nikki Rodriguez, born and raised in Arizona, suffers from facial pressure, watery eyes, sneezing, itchy nose and throat this time of the year. This is a common symptom list to many of us during cold, flu and allergy season.

And as you would expect, she paid a visit to her physician because she says it was making her feel, "horrible, it made me tired and just real irritated because the sneezing and stuff wouldn't stop."

Dr. Eric Goldberg at Primary Care Arcadia says we're likely to suffer through March and April. And to help stay well he offers a simple tip.

"The best trick of all is just good hand washing," Goldberg says.

Since Arizona is a dry climate, he says humidifiers can help keep moisture in our bodies and prevent cracks and openings from happening in our noses or throats that can allow these viruses and bacteria inside.

"Humidifiers will add moisture back into the air that's very dry. With a humidifier, whether it's hot or cold the key thing is proper maintenance," he said.

"It's keeping up on the maintenance by the schedule that it says, you know if it says change the filter once a month don't push it to three months," Goldberg says. "You are going to get less effectiveness and run the risk of different contaminates being in those filters."

As we get deeper into cold and flu season, Goldberg has several reminders for us.

"Prevention is your best bet, so being really conscious of hand washing, get your flu shot," he says. "If you have other medical illnesses that make you more susceptible to infection, especially lung infections like asthma or diabetes you may also want to consider getting a pneumonia shot."

And as for Nikki, her best defense against her Arizona allergens and pollens is nasal sprays and allergy medications when needed.

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