As those who suffer well know, springtime doesn’t have a monopoly on allergies. Runny nose, red eyes, sneezing, congestion, headaches, cough, and itchy skin can be an unwelcome companion during the cold seasons as well. In contrast to those of other seasons, winter allergies often have a different set of triggers.
Let’s look at some common winter allergens.
1. Dust Mites
The issue: Dust mites are tiny bugs that live off of dead skin cells that we shed daily and which become household dust. Mites thrive in warm, humid environments such as bedding, upholstered furniture, and carpeting, especially in damp basements. In addition to typical seasonal allergy symptoms, dust mites are well known to flare asthma as well.
What to do: Special coverings for your bedding and specific laundry detergents, such as All fragrance free, can be an effective way to control dust mite allergies.
The issue: Mold allergies are another common winter allergy. Airborne molds can flare allergic rhinitis and asthma. Molds thrive on damp environments, so are commonly found in bathrooms and basements, particularly in poorly ventilated areas like crawl spaces.
What to do: Mold allergies can be limited by eliminating the source whenever obvious mold growth is noticed. Remember to wear a mask while cleaning, preferably one with an N95 rating, and use a cleanser specifically designed to remove mold, such as Vital Oxide Mold Remover and Disinfectant. Bleach can be effective in removing mold too, but can damage surfaces and cause further sinus irritation when inhaled. Dehumidifiers in basements can make the environment less prone to grow mold as well.
The issue: Pets can be another source of winter allergies. Dander from their skin can accumulate in the house as they spend more time indoors.
What to do: If you have pet dander allergies, keeping your pet out of the bedroom can be helpful, especially in carpeted areas, which tend to accumulate dander. Bathing pets routinely and having a non-allergic family member brush them outdoors at least weekly can also be beneficial.
Handle Your Winter Allergies for a Cozier Winter
If you are suffering from allergy symptoms during the winter months, allergy testing can be essential in identifying the cause. Realistically, complete avoidance of winter allergens may not be possible, but allergy shots can be a highly effective way to desensitize individuals from reacting to these allergens, and contribute to a comfy, cozy winter experience.
If you have winter allergy symptoms, then give our office a call to help end the suffering!