Due to the cold weather, most people prefer to stay indoors during the winter months. Those with allergies often assume that when they are inside, their exposure to allergens will be minimized. There are plenty of allergens indoors, however, including mold, dust and pet dander. If you are spending a lot of time inside, you will feel the effects of these allergens.
The symptoms of allergy to mold, dust and pet dander include sneezing, coughing, a runny or congested nose, itchy skin, inflamed and itchy eyes and wheezing.
Thankfully, there are ways to reduce and prevent indoor allergies. If you are suffering from winter allergies, try the following:
- Replace bedding regularly – Dust mites can be found in mattresses, pillows, upholstered furniture and carpets. Encase your mattresses, box springs and pillows in allergen-proof covers to minimize your exposure to allergens while you sleep. Replace your bedding at least weekly, washing blankets and sheets in hot water to get rid of dust mites.
- Clean often – Eliminate dust mites and pet dander by vacuuming your floor at least once every week. A HEPA filter vacuum can reduce allergens. Use a microfiber or electrostatic cloth when dusting around the house. This type of cloth will absorb the dust and not just move it from place to place. Use an N95 facemask while cleaning the house so you don’t inhale the dust that gets stirred up.
- Change out air filters – You will likely be cranking up the heat during the cold days of winter. If there is dust and pet dander in the air ducts, these elements will spread around the house. Use high-efficiency filters to prevent the allergens from circulating through your home. Replace the filters at the beginning of winter when you start turning on the heat and every three months after that.
- Bathe your pets weekly – Just like you, your pets will likely be staying indoors more during winter. They will spread their dander around the house, which will trigger your allergies.
If your allergies are severe or last for more than a few months of the year, talk to your doctor about Scottsdale allergy shots or sublingual allergy drops. Shots can be administered at the doctor’s office a couple of times a week. If you don’t have time for shots, Scottsdale allergy drops may be the better option for you. The oral allergy drops work much like shots, but they are safe enough to be taken in the comfort of home.