We usually associate budding trees and blooming flowers with allergies, not frosted grass and frigid temperatures. Because of this, there are many people who struggle all winter long with symptoms they cannot understand. The truth is, there is such a thing as winter allergies. When you know this, you can be prepared should symptoms arise.
Why Would Allergies Occur in Winter?
There are particular triggers that lurk where we least expect them. During the winter months, we may accidentally bring mold spores inside the home on our shoes. Mold may also hide within firewood that is still slightly damp, sitting on the hearth waiting to be burned. As the weather changes, exposure to two of the most common allergens, dust and pet dander, may increase simply because we spend more time indoors than out. These substances don’t just lie low, either, they kick up with air movement and travel through vents to all parts of the home.
What Winter Allergies Look Like
The symptoms of winter allergies are similar to those that may occur throughout the year. The thing about winter allergies, though, is that we may mistake them for the common cold. These include:
- Runny nose
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Itchy, red eyes
You can differentiate winter allergies from a cold by observing how long symptoms last. A cold should clear up in a week to ten days, whereas allergy symptoms can linger for weeks on end.
Strategies for Winter Allergies
The best medicine is prevention! You can get a jump start against winter allergies with a thorough cleaning of the house. After an initial deep cleaning that includes pet grooming, laundering bedding, and cleaning the floors, allergens should be easy to control with weekly touch-ups to floors, sheets, and blankets.
Symptoms can often be alleviated with over-the-counter medications or the use of a nasal irrigator. If allergies become unpleasant or unmanageable, care should be obtained from your ear, nose, and throat doctor.