Winter allergies are quite normal in winter as cold is. Many people think it is seasonal allergies which are normally caused by grass, pollen, or so but it goes with the season, but both allergies have some differences. In the winter, cold weather and shorter days led us inside. This is good for saving energy but can lead to allergy symptoms. The winter seals us into our homes with our allergies. Winter allergies tend to flare up when we spend more time inside at home.
Most people love winters, sweater weather, holiday parties, snowy outdoor activities, and a break from typical allergies caused by things like pollen in the spring, summer, and fall. Unfortunately for some, this change in seasons may not just rid them of pollen allergies — it also triggers new allergic reactions that come with the cold weather.
Winter allergies, most commonly caused by mold and dust mites, can heighten when we spend more time in indoors, specifically during the winter months. Most of us aren’t spending our afternoons outside, this means indoor allergens can build up with little relief.
First, let’s understand that winter allergies and seasonal allergies are totally different.
Well, not all of us have winter and seasonal allergies, but yes Unfortunately, those of us who are plagued with allergies don’t always get a deferment when the warm weather pollen and ragweed are in hibernation.
However, the main difference between winter allergies and seasonal allergies is that allergies in winter are more dependent on your lifestyle than they are on your outside environment. In simple words, since you’re not going outside as much and plants aren’t blooming in the winter, allergies are triggered by staying at indoors, irritants that you’re not as frequently exposed to in other seasons.
What causes winter allergies?
Well, the winter symptoms are caused by indoor allergens. When you close the windows and your heaters heat up, these irritants start circulating through indoor air, where they are easy for you to breathe in.
Dust mites: These are some microscopic creatures found in bedding, carpets, heating and air units, and furniture. Their droppings can mix with household dust and become airborne, so be careful. So, it is good to clean and change your bedding from time to time.
Mold: Mold lives in dark and damp areas, such as basements or under-the-sink cabinets.
Pet dander: People with pet allergies can be sensitive to saliva, fur, or the flecks of skin that cats and dogs shed on almost any surface they are in your home.
Cockroach droppings: Roaches may look out warmer places as the weather cools. This allergen is most common in dark damp places.
Winter allergy symptoms
Winter allergy symptoms are the same as spring and fall allergy symptoms, some of are given below-
• Stuffy nose or runny nose
• Itchy or watery eyes
• Itchy skin or rash
• Swollen eyelids
• Sore throat
• Congested sinuses
Allergies have these symptoms-
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Sore throat
• Skin rash
• Congested sinuses
• Itchy, watery eyes
• Itchy skin
External irritants, like-
• Pet dander
• Heavy perfumes or fragrances
How to reduce the symptoms of winter allergies? Well, keep the home clean, every corner is the main goal, to reduce allergies.
• Clean your house regularly with natural, unscented cleaners to reduce dust and bug droppings.
• Reduce dust-catching fabric, hard floors instead of carpet, and get rid of decorative pillows
• Use hypoallergenic covers on mattresses and pillows to reduce the exposure to dust mites.
• Wash curtains, bedding, and pillows regularly in hot water to rid of dust particles.
• Use premium air filters in your HVAC system and clean/change them often.
• Keep food well-sealed, and clean up counters to avoid attracting pests around the house.
• Give pets a regular bath to reduce allergies, and keep them off to your bed.
• Wash pet bedding regularly.
• Keep your bedrooms free of pets.
• Adjust humidity according to your triggers. Use a humidifier or dehumidifier according to your needs and avoid extremes in either direction.
• Use an air purifier in addition to your HVAC air filters, keep them clean and free of mold.
• Keep kid’s toys clean, the most stuffed toys can be washed in hot water to reduce dust and dust mites.
• Minimal or reduce the use of scented products like candles, cleaners, detergents, air fresheners, etc.
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