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How To Fight Winter Allergies

Winter AllergiesFor those unaffected by regular allergy symptoms, it seems as if allergies are a seasonal issue, mostly occurring in the spring and summer months.  While this may be true for some, in many cases, allergies are not necessarily seasonal at all, and it is not uncommon for individuals to suffer from winter allergies.  In these cases, finding a winter allergy treatment that is just as effective as the typical summer options is a crucial step towards healthy daily functioning.  Here is what you need to know when it comes to fighting your winter allergies:

What are winter allergies?

Like all allergies, winter allergies occur because the body mounts an immune response to an unknown substance that enters the body, which is perceived as harmful.  In the case of summer allergies, this is typically a response to pollen or plant matter.  In the case of winter allergies however, this typically comes from indoor allergens, including things such as dust, mold and pet hair.  In many instances though, the outcome is the same, resulting in symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, blocked sinus and overall discomfort exhibited via headache, fatigue and body aches.

What causes winter allergies?

The dry winter air, coupled with the cold temperatures, forcing us to spend more time indoors leaves us more vulnerable and exposed to indoor allergens that may not typically be an issue in other seasons.  While indoors, we turn on heating systems that blow around more dust, and may even opt to operate a humidifier to increase moisture content within the air.  While this may be good for our chapped lips, in reality, many of the allergens responsible for winter allergy issues thrive in moist environments.  Mold for example, grows in warm moist environments, and dust mites grow where there is moisture as well.  In addition, with the harsh weather outside, you are likely leaving your pet inside and this increases your exposure to pet dander and hair.

 Will they go away on their own?

With these altered seasonal weather conditions and the continued allergen exposure, chances are, if you are impacted by indoor allergies, they aren’t going anywhere any time soon.  Long term allergy suffering, without adequate treatment increases your risk of asthma, as well as depletes your immune system making it less proficient at responding to other bacteria or foreign invaders and setting you up for potential exposure to other illnesses and disease.  In essence, failure to identify and manage seasonal allergies can have long-term consequences – which also won’t go away any time soon either.

What can I do about it?

The best way to avoid the long-term repercussions of allergies and to ensure you don’t go through the season feeling miserable, tired and sick, is to seek winter allergy treatment.  You can speak to your doctor about seeing an allergy specialist and there are several over the counter options such as nasal spray or de-congestant tablets.  In addition, it is important to make your environment more allergy-friendly.  Begin by having a professional allergy specialized cleaning service come in and clean your house.  They are trained to eliminate dust and mold in areas where you may not even realize it lurks!  Wash your sheets, pillowcases and towels at least once per week in hot water, with hypoallergenic detergent.  If you have carpet in your house, stay out of that area as much as possible, if it is feasible to do so and if your allergies are pet related, don’t allow your pet in every room of the house.   Finally, be sure to get fresh air daily, and let fresh air into your house regularly – even if for just a few minutes due to the cold!

Nobody likes being sick, and especially not when it involves lingering allergies that leave you feeling miserable and congested.  Allergy proof your home and use the tips above to help reduce your allergy suffering.  With the proper treatment selection you can keep your winter allergies to a minimum and enjoy the snowy season!

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