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Skip Navigation LinksBoys Town National Research Hospital > Knowledge Center > Articles > Allergy, Asthma, Immunology and Pediatric Pulmonology > Winter Allergies

 Winter Allergies

Female blowing her nose

​​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.

Triggers

  • 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.

Common Symptoms

  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Itchy eyes and nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Cold-like symptoms
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Fatigue

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.