Did you know you can get allergies in the winter? Very often winter allergies are caused by indoor allergies such as mold, dust mite and household pets. When the weather is cold outside, an individual may spend more time indoors and when the furnace kicks on, particles of dust, mold spores and insect parts are dispersed through the air congesting our nose and triggering a reaction.
- Dust mites are microscopic bugs found in mattresses, bedding and carpets.
- Mold is a fungus that thrives in damp, humid areas such as basements and bathrooms.
- Household pets can cause allergies because individuals are allergic to a protein found in pet dander, saliva and urine.
- Fireplaces and furnaces can blow warm air circulating particles into the room.
- Itchy eyes and nose
- Watery eyes
- Cold-like symptoms
- Dark circles under the eyes
Steps and Treatments for Winter Allergies
Keep furnaces clean by changing the filters to keep the air clean and vacuum the carpet regularly to keep dust mites from growing. The cleaner the air is running in the house, the less likely your allergies will be a problem. If an individual has a history of seasonal allergies, allergists recommend starting medications two weeks before the problems began to occur.
Over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines can be used to reduce symptoms as well as nasal sprays that may reduce swelling or inflammation. Your primary physician or an allergy physician may prescribe oral medications, nasal sprays or allergy shots for symptoms that are worsening and not responding well to other treatments.
Always consult your physician before taking any medication. Allergies can be triggered at any time and at any age. If you have any questions or concerns about your allergies, contact your primary physician or an allergist at
Boys Town National Research Hospital.
Very often the winter allergies, they are not that typical where you have the sneezing, and stuff like that. They have congestion. That’s when they tell you they are congested all the time, or they have drainage all the time.
In the winter the allergens essentially are the house hold pets, cats and dogs, and then the dust mites. You see we need to keep our furnaces clean and keep our furnace filters changed regularly because your furnace is blowing hot air. And your home is carpeted. The majority of homes are. Carpet is a very fertile growing ground for house’s dust mites. It’s just a constant there you know. And then if you have a pet there that you are allergic to and very often they will tell me that they bought hypoallergenic dogs or hypoallergenic cats. There is no such thing. You see people will spend a lot of money getting these animals from certain select breeders you see, but there is no such thing.
And then the animal often sleeps in the bed with them. The animal sits on their lap. You know, they are touching the animal. They are touching their eyes. They are touching their nose and then they get symptomatic.