Winter Allergies: How To Defend Yourself From Those Pesky Winter Allergies
Some of us aren’t just allergic to pollen found outside.
The indoors have plenty of triggers hiding within. And sometimes, these can be the hardest to escape.
Especially when you are forced into your home 4–6 months out of the year because of cold weather. That’s why understanding more about winter allergies is important for those of us who find ourselves sneezing and blowing our nose throughout the winter months.
And we decided to make it easier on you to understand, by creating this guide for everything you need to know about defending yourself form winter allergies.
So, to begin, let’s go over some of the main causes of winter allergies.
What Triggers Your Winter Allergies?
While spring, summer, and fall allergies are often caused by outdoor substances from trees, flowers, and weeds that create pollen, winter allergies are triggered primarily by being indoors.
This is because, well, nothing grows in the winter… so there’s no pollen.
And if only that was the end of our allergy fears.
There are all kinds of things inside our homes that can cause an allergic reaction, especially if we aren’t necessarily dusting and cleaning our living areas as much as we should be. Here’s the main culprit:
- Dust mites: Dust mites are not only a major cause of seasonal allergic reactions but may also be one of the biggest contributors to asthma problems as well. Invisible to the naked eye, they are of the arthropods family (like spiders) and exist all around the world. The bad news about these little creatures is that not only are they themselves triggers of winter allergies, but their waste is as well – and once it gets released into the air you can start having worse allergies.
But dust mites are not the only trigger of winter allergies – and the next one is comment year–round as well.
- Mold: This kind of mold – instead of outdoor mold that is responsible for spring, summer, and fall allergies – is the type that is found, again, in your home. It grows in damp environments, especially in basements, and can cause spores to let out into the air that you can eventually breathe. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for any green substances in your house.
And there is actually one more main trigger that you should be aware of, especially if you’re experiencing winter allergies.
- Pets: Animals themselves are not allergens, and typically not their hair or fur either. It’s mostly their saliva and urine that causes allergic reactions, and when we’re cooped up inside with our pets during the winter months this means we need to take extra precaution with our animal friends.
Now that you have a good grasp on what causes your winter allergies, here are some ways that you can prevent them from influencing you too much during the winter season.
CLEAN YOUR HOME
This is by far the most proactive thing you can start doing immediately to help prevent winter allergies from being too much of a problem for you or your loved ones.
Cleaning your house will help you prevent yourself from having frequent allergic flareups by limiting the amount of dust and/or pet hair in your home. It will also allow you to spot any mold outbreaks early on before they get too serious and REALLY start affecting your allergies.
And if preventing winter allergies is your aim (which I assume it is since you’re reading this), then this should be your first step.
- Throwing out old items such as shower curtains or carpet that may have mold
- Washing down bathrooms thoroughly to make sure no allergens are hiding
- Using a solid air filter to remove dust from your home properly
Use Allergy–Proof Bedding
Think about it.
We sleep for 6, 8, sometimes 10 hours per day.
This means that your bedroom has a high chance of being a contact zone of allergens causing you to react, and you should act to prevent this from happening as much as possible.
And allergy–proof bedding would help with your winter allergies especially because they will help prevent the number one winter allergy trigger: dust mites.
Allergy–proof bedding goes over you’re pillows of mattresses and is made with material that makes it difficult for dust mites to borrow deep down into the items on your bed, making it EXTREMELY difficult to get rid of them.
You should really consider adding allergy–proof products to this year’s plan to combat winter allergies.
Get a Dehumidifier
Putting a dehumidifier in your home will help with the two biggest triggers of winter allergies.
The first being that it will lower the chances of mold growing in your living areas.
This is because mold thrives in damp areas and decreasing the humidity in your home to lower than 50% will prevent mold from having an ideal environment to live.
But that’s not all.
Doing this will also decrease the amount of dust mites in your home by also making a non–ideal environment for them to live in.
This is something you can do almost immediately to prevent winter allergies from ruining your season.
There are all kinds of medication out there designed to prevent you and I from experiencing allergic reactions.
Antihistamines, decongestants, and more all help with this.
And there are different kinds within each of them. That means there’s more out there that will fit your specific needs and combat the exact allergen that you need to stop.
This next part cannot be stressed enough, either.
The earlier you take your medication, the better chance you will have of getting a head start on winter allergies and defending yourself against them. When I started taking over–the–counter medication 2 weeks before I thought the allergy season would start, I can’t tell you how much of a difference it made in my allergic reactions.
You should try it to.
Figure out which medication is right for you, stick to it, and start before you think you need it.
It may seem drastic, but it can really help.
And if nothing seems to be preventing winter allergies in your life, maybe you need to seriously start considering it – as it helps with 85% of cases.
Allergy immunotherapy probably isn’t as bad as you think either.
Here’s what the process will look like:
- At first, you will take a shot, tablet, or drop once or twice a week for several months. The initial doses will be smaller, gradually becoming bigger as the testing goes on.
- Once you pass the first phase, you will begin taking larger doses every but anywhere from 2–4 weeks for about 4 months, depending on your allergic reaction level.
- You will then start need to take a shot about once a month for 3–5 years. This is when your symptoms will hopefully start to decrease or go away completely.
That isn’t that bad.
Considering that these doctor visits will only be a simple shot and you’re out of there.
And it’s well worth it if the results are positive.
There Are Steps You Can Take To Defend Against Winter Allergies
With the above list, there should be no reason why you don’t have a game plan to combat the substances causing your winter allergies every year.
If you’re suffering from winter allergies, you have three main triggers to worry about:
- Dust mites
And the list we have just provided you will start you on the right path to stopping these from affecting you every season.
If the first 4 options don’t work, again, CONSIDER ALLERGY IMMUNOTHERAPY.
Having a few years of shots in return for a lifetime of being allergy–free is a price that I’d be willing to pay – and possibly you, too.
We wish you well on your efforts to combat this years’ winter allergy season, and hope that this guide has given you all the tools you need to stop them!