You Can Thank The Santa Ana Winds For Your Sneezing And Itchy Eyes

The Santa Ana winds are back at it again for the second time this month raising red flag warnings for parts of Southern California.

If you experienced itchy eyes, uncontrollable sneezing, or a dry throat this past weekend – you’re not alone. Sadly, this isn’t the end of them either.

The Santa Ana winds are strong, extremely dry winds that originate inland and target coastal Southern California and northern Baja California. They usually occur when the Great Basin becomes cooler than Southern California – typically from September to May. October tends to be the worst month because of SoCal’s “fire-season.”

It’s not allergies that are bothering you, it’s an inflammatory reaction to the little particles floating around in the air. The pollen count right now is at zero so it’s not likely that the trees, grasses, and weeds are to blame.

Because of California’s many wildfires, this year seems to be worse than any other. Even if there was a fire a year ago, the small ash particles can travel up to 90 miles to 100 miles away. In this instance, the wind is causing them to travel, leaving them to get kicked up and make way into your eyes and nose.

In a recent interview with KPCC’s Take Two, UCLA allergist Dr. Rita Kachrus said that she’s been “seeing a lot of red swollen eyes, coughing, sneezing and itching lately.”

Here are some ways to prevent or get rid of any reactions you may be feeling:

  • Clear out the particles with a sinus rinse
  • Rinsing your eyes
  • Gargling with salt water
  • Washing properly after spending long hours outside
  • If symptoms have already set in, taking antihistamines and decongestants

You can check out the Santa Ana wind forecast here!

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