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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Think twice before attacking 'allergies' with drugstore medicines

Health experts say stocking up on medications to tackle symptoms similar to allergies could be detrimental to lungs - making them an easier target for COVID-19.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Northern California has recently been dealing with some of the worst air quality in the world. Although many of us have seen some air quality improvements in the past couple days, fire season is not over and that means we still have to be mindful of our allergies and to protect ourselves from COVID-19.

"When you have poor air quality, the pollutants in the air can affect the immune system of the lungs," explained medical expert, Dr. Payal Kohli. "So it increases your susceptibility to the Covid-19 infection as well."

Dr. Kohli also cautions as to the use of multiple allergy medications during the coronavirus pandemic, as our immune systems could be adversely affected.

"I would be cautious about taking too many medications which can suppress the immune system," Dr. Kohli said. "We often take antihistamines, which is a kind of medicine that can suppress the immune system. We also take nasal steroids that suppress the immune system." 

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So if some of the popular allergy medicine isn't the answer, what should we be buying at the drugstore?

Dr. Kohli recommends salt water rinses, which he said you can find easily at your local drugstore. 

"You can also find recipes online on how to make salt rinses," Dr. Kohli said. "One thing I will caution you on - if you are using any kind of rinses in your nose, make sure you are using distilled water."

RELATED: Natural allergy remedies to make at home | Meg Unprocessed

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