You may have suffered through spring and fall allergies only to hope for a respite during winter months. Unfortunately, winter is not immune from allergies. Even though there are fewer pollens in the air in winter, there are plenty of indoor allergens to contend with, such as dust mites, pet dander and mold spores.
Here are a few tips for managing your allergies during the winter months:
- Use a HEPA vacuum – The use of a HEPA vacuum will significantly reduce the pet dander and dust mites on the floor of your home. If you have non-carpeted floors, try mopping instead of vacuuming.
- Crank up the fan – When cooking or showering, the exhaust fan will reduce odors and eliminate excessive humidity that could lead to mold growth.
- Wash those hands – Frequent hand washing is a good step for avoiding allergic reactions. Your body could absorb or inhale allergens that come in contact with your hands.
- Protect your bedroom – You spend many hours in your bedroom, but allergens could lurk there. Dust mites and mold could inhabit your bedding, mattresses and pillows. Cover your bedding with allergen-proof materials to create a barrier between you and the dust mites.
- Use high-efficiency air filters – Dust mites and mold spores are common in air ducts. When you turn on the heat for the winter, you will feel their effects. Make sure to have your ducts serviced before winter, and install high-efficiency filters to prevent the spread of allergens in your home.
- Wash with hot water – Dust mites could cling to your linens and sleepwear. Wash them regularly using high-temperature water to kill allergens.
- Water-spray your live Christmas tree – Before bringing your Christmas tree into the living room, spray it down with a hose. This applies to both fake and real trees. A thorough spraying could eliminate dust, mold and pollens that can accumulate on branches. Let the tree dry before setting it up.
Visit your Phoenix allergy doctor at the start of winter for a checkup and advice on how to handle your allergies. Your allergy doctor might prescribe Phoenix allergy drops or Phoenix allergy shots to prevent or minimize your misery during the winter months. Both forms of immunotherapy are helpful in desensitizing your body to allergens, but drops are safer and can be administered at home (rather than at the doctor’s office).