11 effective tips for coping with the harmattan season.

How to relieve the health problems associated with the harmattan season

Dry eyes

Dry skin

Broken lips

Running nose


Dry cough

Asthma attacks

Watering eyes




Breathing problems


Dry throat

Sore throat

These are common health effects of Harmattan.

It can make your life miserable if you let it. Want simple health advice?

Read on.

1. Drink lots of fluids.

3litres everyday. Water, tea and fruit juice is okay. Fluids prevent dehydration, dry skin, dry mouth, cracked lips and dry eyes. Best to stay away from soft drinks. They end up make you dehydrated even further.

2. Use a lip balm to avoid cracked lips.

3. Take lots of vegetables and fruits.

Weed is NOT a vegetable. Let’s be guided. By vegetables, I mean leafy greens like the ones we use for soups. Vegetables help your immune system. Bananas (not the black one), oranges, pineapple, watermelons, apples, pear etc are good.

Take a bottle of water with you everywhere you go. Like a small water bottle- it helps stay hydrated and reminds you always of need to drink water. Put fruits in your car, in your bag (and child’s school bag), on your table at work and at home. That’s a good way not to forget.

4. For dust, try to wear a facemask or use a face towel especially when the dust gets so much. Keep your doors and windows closed. Especially if your house is around places where there’s a lot of untarred roads or dusty areas. You must do your best to avoid dust in this period.

Coping with the Harmattan season
Face mask for the dry season: Coping with the harmattan season

5. For people who get allergies;

Try your best to stay warm,

Wear thicker clothes if you have to,

Avoid dust as much as you can,

Use antihistamine tablets like loratadine or cetirizine- one 10mg tablet a day is okay.

It help prevents allergies and assists you to cope with it.

6. If you have running nose, blocked nose or headache,

Drink lots of fluids,

Use paracetamol 2tablets every eight hours for few days if the headache is serious,

Rest, avoid stress,

If you get allergies- as earlier advised, use antihistamine tablets like loratadine or cetirizine.

7. If you have asthma,

Always have your blue ventolin inhaler IN YOUR POCKET.

NOT in your wardrobe at home.

NOT in your car.

NOT anywhere far from you. It MUST be in your pocket. AT ALL TIMES.

You know why? If you get an asthma attack.

That blue ventolin inhaler may save your life.

For people with asthma,

IF you are having an asthma attack:

Use your blue inhaler up to 10puffs,

Try NOT to panic, (panic worsens it),

Sit up (do NOT lie down),

Take deep breaths in and out,

Take hot coffee,

Call an ambulance or a friend/family who drives a car,

Go to hospital.

8. Use good moisturising lotions to keep your skin moist- it helps you avoid dry cracking skin. Get good lip gloss and a lip balm too. It helps you prevent your lips from getting sore and peeling. Take some vitamin c too if you can get some. That would really help. Ask at pharmacy.

9. For nosebleeds,

Do NOT be alarmed by it.

It’s mostly NOT a big deal.

Do NOT blow your nose.

Do NOT sneeze too hard.

Pinch the soft parts of your nose tightly. Breath through your mouth.

Do this for a few minutes.

The nose bleed will stop.

If heavy bleeding, go to hospital.

10. Stay indoors this harmattan as much as you can. This is NOT the time to aimlessly walk around your estate looking for roasted corn at 11pm. Stay in your house. This helps you avoid lots of dust outside. And wear thick clothes to stay warm- do two/three layers if you have to.

11. Get lemon/lime and put in warm water. Add some honey if you have. You can drink this at intervals. It’s a good way to stay hydrated. And it also prevents sore dry throat. It will NOT harm you if you try it out. Wear socks, hand gloves and a headwarmer to stay warm. It’s okay.

Adapting to the harmattan season
Coping with the harmattan season

I hope you now know how to cope with harmattan. Try to follow this simple tips/ it would save you a lot of misery this harmattan. It may also save you from an avoidable chest infection, hospital admission and hospital bills.

Please be wise.

Share with others too.

Thank you.

Dr Olufunmilayo


  1. You have been a blessing Doctor. I always look forward to your daily medical tips as you present the issues and solutions that even an illiterate could understand. Keep up the good work


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