Many would assume that the winter season would bring a respite from allergies as there are far fewer pollens in the air than there are in fall or summer. Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, even during the cold, snowy months, people are still prone to allergies.
Houses or work areas can be breeding grounds for dust mites and molds that have the same effect as pollens on people with allergies.
Here are common winter allergens:
- Dust – the most common cause of winter allergy. Tiny dust mites congregate on bedding, furniture, and in carpet, feasting on dead skin flakes from humans. Microscopic debris from the dead mites stirs up allergy symptoms such as hay fever.
- Molds – usually found in bathrooms and basements, where the environment is humid and moist. Air can carry mold spores that can lead to allergic rhinitis and respiratory symptoms when inhaled.
- Animal saliva/dander/urine – The protein found in the saliva, urine, and dander of pets can cause allergic misery. Just like molds and dust mites, when these proteins hit the nasal cavities, expect symptoms to manifest.
Winter Allergy Symptoms
The most common symptoms of winter allergies include runny and itchy nose, watery and itchy eyes, dark circles around the eyes, sneezing, and coughing. But allergy symptoms shouldn’t be mistaken for a cough or flu. An allergy usually lasts longer and doesn’t manifest fever and aches.
Winter Allergy Prevention
These measures may help with winter allergies:
- Wash your beddings and mattresses frequently and use allergy-proof covers.
- Never recycle moldy wallpapers, shower curtains, and carpets with molds. If mildew thrives in your bathroom, scrub the area with bleach or detergent solution.
- Dehumidifiers and HEPA filters can help clean the air in the room.
- Consider keeping your pets away from your sleeping area
Winter Allergy Treatment
If your symptoms are interfering with your quality of life, and preventative measures aren’t enough to help, talk to a physician. Antihistamines are considered basic treatment for any allergy. This medication reduces skin inflammation, sneezing, and sniffling. Decongestants are also prescribed for swelling and nasal congestion. If allergy problems are significant enough, allergy treatment through shots or under-the-tongue drops may be in order. Contact Family Allergy Clinic for more information about allergy treatment.