Why Do I Have Winter Allergy Symptoms?

winter allergies michiganAn allergy is a reaction by your immune system to something in your environment, such as pollen, dust, or foods. Some people have mild symptoms, but when allergy symptoms become severe they can have a negative effect on everyday life for the sufferer.

Everyone is familiar with spring allergies when many people suffer from common allergy symptoms as sneezing and runny nose. Winter allergies, however, can frustrate people who are not sure what is causing the symptoms. There’s no pollen and nothing is blooming, so what is going on?

Indoor Allergies In Winter

With many of us holed up inside during the winter, and even more during COVID, we are exposed to a lot of indoor allergens. If our immune system overreacts to these indoor substances, we can have many of the same symptoms that occur during spring, summer, and fall. Common indoor allergens during the winter include, but are not limited to:

  • Pollen
  • House dust mites
  • Pet dander
  • Foods
  • Mold
  • Latex
  • Medications

Symptoms of Indoor Allergies

  • Runny nose or nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy eyes, nose, and throat
  • Watery eyes
  • Rashes, hives, itchiness or other skin conditions
  • Asthma

Tips For Reducing Winter Allergy Symptoms

  • Avoiding allergy triggers is the best way to control your symptoms, but sometimes your triggers can be hard to identify. Pay attention to where and when your symptoms occur.
  • Keep humidity levels low in your home to reduce dust mites and mold
  • Avoid upholstered furniture and wall-to-wall carpeting if possible
  • Wash bedding in hot water frequently – at least once per week
  • Vacuum floors and furniture regularly
  • Change the filter on your home’s furnace regularly
  • Use dehumidifiers in damp areas of your home and basement

Consider Allergy Testing and Treatment

Even when you do everything possible to avoid allergens, sometimes it isn’t enough to control the symptoms. If you have tried over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal sprays, but it still isn’t enough, talk with your doctor to ask about allergy testing and treatment options.

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