Your Winter Allergy Guide

iStock-1176618214_small.jpgWith most of the major pollen producers being dormant this time of year, winter isn’t really thought of as an allergy season. In reality, winter can cause as many allergy issues as any other time of year. The sources are just different from what most people think of.

For the most part, there aren’t many outdoor allergens to be aware of during these colder months. Instead, the allergy problems tend to be indoors and that’s where most of us are spending more time. Have you noticed more sneezing, reparatory irritation, or itchy, watery eyes? If so, then chances are that you’re experiencing indoor allergies.

Here are the major culprits when it comes to indoor allergies:

  • Dust mites. Sure, they’re around all year, but they also thrive in the carpets and upholstery that keep us comfortable.
  • Dander. It’s not actually the fur itself that causes allergic reactions to household pets. Instead, it’s the tiny skin flakes that create an allergic response. The fur is just much easier to see.
  • Mold. Mold spores are everywhere, but they thrive in damp areas with little airflow. This is why basements and bathrooms are notorious for mold and mildew.
  • Cockroach Droppings. These pests will take any advantage to enter your home, no matter how often you clean. Repairing leaky faucets and making sure that cracks are well-sealed can help deter them though.

So what is the best way to combat winter allergies?

  • One of the best things to do to keep winter allergies at bay is to make a thorough cleaning of your home a regular habit.
  • Regular cleaning, dusting, and vacuuming will dramatically reduce the indoor allergens in your home.
  • Bathe your pets once a week to help keep dander at bay. More often can dry out and irritate their skin though, so check with your vet if you have concerns.
  • Wash your sheets in hot water, use covers to reduce dust mites, and change your bedding at least once a week.
  • Monitor the humidity levels in your home. Overly dry air can irritate your nasal and sinus tissues, so if the air tends to be dry you might need a humidifier. If the air is too damp, you should look into dehumidifiers to reduce mold.

If winter allergies don’t seem to be manageable, talk to us! We can help you identify your allergies, and recommend a treatment plan that works for your individual needs.