When most people talk about allergies, it’s ragweed, tree, and grass pollen that features most prominently. However, these are all warm weather concerns; unfortunately, winter isn’t an immediate worry-free time for allergy sufferers. While this may seem obvious for those living in warmer climates where the plant life never quite goes dormant, colder winter areas aren’t allergen free either. During these colder months of the year, allergy sufferers are often spending even more time indoors. The windows are closed to keep the warmth in, and modern homes are less drafty and better insulated. While this may be good for their energy savings, it can spell trouble for their allergies.
What Allergies Can I Face During The Winter Months?
When we’re spending so much time indoors, it’s the allergens that are in our homes and office we have to face. There’s no one answer that will cover the experience of all winter allergy sufferers. However, some of the most common indoor allergens that can make winter unpleasant include:
- Pet Dander
- Dust Mites
- Creatures seeking shelter from the cold, and their leavings
While we’re spending more time outdoors, we may not be exposed to some of these allergens enough to impact our daily lives. However, we’re trapped inside with them nearly 24 hours a day during the winter. Even if we aren’t normally sensitive to these allergens, overexposure to them may convince our bodies that they’re invaders that need an immediate response. Dander and dust can get into our eyes, lungs, and nose and irritate the linings there, causing inflammation. Inflammation can make it more of a struggle to rid your body of allergens.
We’ll go into winter allergens in a bit more depth below:
- Dust – Everywhere we go, we’re going to encounter dust. The exact composition of that dust can vary from place to place. The most common components are hair and skin flakes from people and animals. However, insect parts, crumbs, clothing fibers, and residual contaminants from the air can all build up and cause problems.
- Dust Mites – Everything we mentioned above can serve as a source of food for dust mites. These insects are invisible to the naked eye and are present in almost every home. They live in carpets, bedding, furniture, and anywhere else they can find food and hide. Their feces contain an enzyme that some people are quite sensitive to, leading to an allergic response.
- Mold – Mold is the bane of any area that is stagnant, damp, and warm. Almost every home has at least one area that meets the criteria for mold to form. They spread by sporing, filling the air with particles that can land and grow in any place that has the right conditions. Some people are particularly sensitive to mold spores, and spending a winter inside with them can be miserable.
Speak To Your Allergy Specialist For More Winter Tips
If you need help securing your home against winter allergens, speak to your allergy specialist. They can help you understand the source of these allergens and suggest ways to address them. Medication, air filters, and other approaches may be the help you need to breathe easy all winter long.