If you have pollen allergies and live in Northern half of the United States, you may get a much appreciated break when the weather gets cold. If you suffer from indoor allergies to mold, pet dander and dust mites, spending more time indoors during the winter months can mean an increase in allergy symptoms.
With almost 20 percent of the US population showing sensitivity to dust mites according to a study published online in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, allergy “season” may extend throughout the year. Controlling exposure to pollen or mold spores may require different and targeted approaches.
4 Top Winter Allergy Triggers + Tips Northern US Regions
In the northern states as temperatures outside go down, more people are staying indoors to avoid the cold. For many people sensitive to indoor allergens like mold, dust and pet dander, winter can be a miserable time for allergy sufferers.
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.