If you thought you were out of the woods this winter when it comes to allergies, we’re sorry to say that might not be true. Indoor allergies can be just as vicious as the pesky spring pollen. Today we will tackle what you need to know to get through the winter allergy season.
What Puts Me at Risk?
In the winter, you are already more susceptible to colds. The symptoms can commonly be confused with allergies. Both can be frustrating and get in the way of your daily living. Unfortunately, you are more at risk for winter allergies if you have summer allergies.
This is because the same things that bother you in the summer can also be irritants in the winter. You may notice them being even stronger. Allergens like mold, dust and mildew are in your home year-round, but noticeable in the winter when the house is closed up. You are increasing your exposure as you try to keep your home warm.
Common Winter Allergies
- Animals: You’re spending more time enjoying the warmth indoors and so is your sweet pet. This also means you are going to be more exposed to pet fur and dander.
- Mold: As fall leaves decompose, mold begins to appear.
- Dust: With winter, comes more dust. Because the air is so warm and dry, dust abounds.
How to Handle the Symptoms
Allergy symptoms are typically: runny nose, sneezing, itchy throat and congestion. Handling symptoms in the winter will be slightly different than how you’d handle them in the summer.
- Wash: Wash your animals and wash your pets. Both will accumulate allergens and need frequent cleaning.
- Remove Carpeting: Carpeting will hold many allergens, so if at all possible, stick to hardwood or laminate flooring.
- Humidify: Dust thrives in high humidity as does mold. While dry air can exacerbate symptoms, having a humidifier can help as long as the humidity is under sixty percent.
- Medication: There are allergy medications that you can take short term to manage symptoms.
- Treatment: If your allergies are a significant hindrance to your daily life, you may want to consider allergy testing to pinpoint your triggers and how to stop them.
Allergies come and go, but it’s always best to be prepared. If you’re concerned with allergies, not only this winter, but any time of the year, reach out to Advanced Respiratory Care Network for help!