People most commonly associate spring with allergies. However, allergies can occur year-round. The winter season can also be allergy season for perennial allergy sufferers. With preparations, however, allergy sufferers can have a not-so-terrible experience during winter.
The Winter Allergy Challenge
Springtime allergies usually have pollen as the offender. When warmer weather comes, people spend more time outdoors. They also open their windows to let the air in, which can bring in allergens.
Winter presents a different challenge to allergy sufferers since during winter, people spend more time indoors. Moreover, the allergens during winter are also indoor allergens. However, exposure to indoor allergens can be minimized. Dander or dead skin flakes of pets, dust mites, indoor mold, and cockroach droppings are common causes of itchy eyes, sneezing, and runny nose during winter. Keeping exposure to these under control through frequent cleaning can help you have a more comfortable winter.
Daily vacuuming can help keep pet dander and dust under control. Wash bedding and sheets in warm water weekly. Invest in a hypoallergenic mattress. Bathe pets at least once a week. Keeping the bathroom clean and dry helps prevent the growth of mold, which releases mold sports that can trigger an allergic reaction. Sealing up cracks where they can hide, being mindful of food left in the open as well as crumbs, and making use of cockroach traps can reduce exposure to their skin shedding and droppings can all help.
Another contributor to winter allergies is dry air. If nasal passages are dry, there is a reduction in their ability to trap allergens in the air. If you turn up the heater, the heat will make the air dryer. However, you do not have to endure the cold. Use a humidifier to help emit vapor into the air and prevent dryness. You can also use an air purifier with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA), which traps dust and other allergens, including odors.
What Happens When You Go Out?
You may be able to control the environment indoors, but your allergies can still be triggered outdoors, in your office, or in public spaces. An allergist can help you manage your allergies in winter, especially in spaces where you have no control. Allergies tend to continue so long as allergens are present, and a very critical part of treatment is identifying your triggers. After comprehensive testing, your doctor may prescribe antihistamines, steroid nasal sprays, or allergy shots, which can help reduce your sensitivity to allergens.
Board-Certified Allergists in Will County & DuPage County, IL
At Oak Brook Allergists, our board-certified allergists can help you manage your allergies, so you don’t have to have a terrible winter season. We use personalized allergy treatments that target your specific allergies. We make the latest in allergy treatments available to our patients, including allergy shots, which provide lasting relief. To make an appointment with an allergist, call (630) 574-0460 or use our online request form.