If you have pollen allergies, you may get a much appreciated break when the weather turns colder. If you suffer from indoor allergies like mold, pet dander and dust mites, or seasonal pollens like cedar, the winter months can be a miserable time.
In southern and western regions, the temperatures outside may go up and down like a roller coaster. Without sustained freezing temperatures, many areas within the lower half of the US do not get a break from pollen like our friends farther north. And with almost 20 percent of the US population showing sensitivity to dust mites, an indoor allergen, according to a study published online in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, allergy “season” may extend throughout the year.
4 Top Winter Allergy Triggers + Tips Southern US Regions
Pet Dander Allergies to warm-blooded pets, such as cats, dogs, birds, and rodents are caused when a person has a reaction to proteins found in the animal's saliva, skin cells or urine.
Tip: Pets should be kept out of bedrooms and other highly-used areas in the home to reduce exposure, and they should be bathed once a week.
Dust & Dust Mites Microscopic, allergy symptom-inducing dust mites lurk in bedding, mattresses, carpets, and upholstered furniture.
Tip: Use dust-proof covers on mattresses, box springs, and pillows. Wash bed linens weekly in hot water to kill dust mites. Vacuum all carpeted areas at least twice a week. Consider using a dehumidifier to keep humidity below 50 percent, and a HEPA air purifier especially in bedrooms where you spend a majority of your time.
Smoke and Pollutants Firewood brought into the home can contain mold spores and wood burned in a fireplace can release irritating smoke and other airborne pollutants into the home environment.
Tip: Be sure that when bringing in any firewood into the home that it's been cleaned and checked for mold. In addition, when starting any fire, be sure that the chimney damper is open so that no unwanted smoke comes into the home.