Winter Allergies: What to Do to Avoid Them

Do your allergies hit harder than usual during the winter season? Winter allergies are seasonal allergies, but not like what you experience in the summer. While most people associate allergies with pollen, in reality, you can still experience these symptoms even in the cold months. In this blog, we’ll explore the causes of winter allergies, their symptoms, and the different ways to alleviate them.

What Causes Winter Allergies?

During the winter season, pollen — which is one of the most common causes of allergies — isn’t the issue. In fact, the outdoors aren’t really the issue at all. It’s the fact that the harsh, cold weather prompts you to spend more time indoors. And that’s where the trouble starts.

In fact, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, there’s growing scientific evidence that air within homes and other establishments can be more polluted than outdoor air.

People spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. During the winter, this number might be even higher. Therefore, this could mean an increase in allergy symptoms. But before we talk about the symptoms, let’s first pinpoint the triggers.

Here are some of the most common causes of winter allergies:

  • Dust mites: These are microscopic pests that thrive in humid environments and can be found in your bedding, carpets, curtains, and upholstered furniture. They feed on dead skin cells and pet dander. 
  • Pet dander: Just like humans, your pets also shed microscopic flecks of dead skin cells. So, if you have cats, dogs, or other pets, your household becomes more prone to this allergen.
  • At-home mold: Mold spores grow best in damp areas and can cause sneezing, congestion, and itchiness.
  • Cockroach droppings: Cockroaches are pests that can live anywhere. They thrive in dark and moist areas such as under the kitchen sink, cupboards, and behind appliances.

What are the Symptoms of Winter Allergies?

Winter allergy symptoms are easy to spot. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Sneezing.
  • A stuffy or runny nose.
  • Itchy eyes.
  • An itchy throat and/or ears.
  • Difficulty breathing, especially through a clogged nose.
  • Coughing (can be a dry cough or sometimes produce phlegm).
  • A skin rash.
  • A low-grade fever.
  • Feeling sick.

Meanwhile, more severe winter allergy symptoms that are more disruptive include:

  • Tightness in the chest.
  • Wheezing.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Feelings of exhaustion or anxiety.

Although the symptoms of winter allergies can overlap with those of colds, these are two different things. Allergies are caused by your body’s release of histamine, which produces an inflammatory response to the allergens you’ve been exposed to. Meanwhile, colds result from a virus and end when your body successfully fights off your infection.

How to Alleviate Winter Allergies

While there is no foolproof way to get rid of winter allergies completely, there are different ways to minimize your exposure to indoor allergens. Here are some of the most effective tips to alleviate winter allergies.

  • Keep your home clean. The most basic tip is to clean and vacuum your home on a regular basis. Use a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) filter to remove more of the allergens from surfaces.
  • Wash your sheets and clothes weekly. Avoid dander and dust mite build-up by washing your clothes, bedding, upholstery covers, and other fabrics on a weekly basis. Use hot water when washing to kill dust mites, and opt for hypoallergenic cases for your pillows and mattresses. 
  • Fix leaks and treat mold growth. As mentioned, molds thrive in damp areas. With this in mind, make a point of checking your bathroom, basement, pipes, and roof for leaks to prevent mold. However, if you notice that there’s already mold growth, you can either clean it yourself or hire a mold remediation expert.
      • Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting. Replace your carpets with linoleum, tile, or wood, and use area rugs instead.
  • Use a dehumidifier. Mold and dust mites thrive in humid environments. This can be exacerbated if you live in an area that’s humid to begin with. Use a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture in the air and keep the humidity level at around 30 to 50%.
  • Use an air purifier in your home. Air purifiers, especially those with HEPA filters, are highly effective at keeping indoor allergens at bay. When the air purifier circulates indoor air, the microscopic particles that cause winter allergies will also get pulled in and trapped. This makes air purifiers an extremely useful appliance in preventing allergies and keeping the air inside your home safer and more pleasant to breathe. If you’re looking for a reliable air purifier to help you breathe easier, try Sans.

  • How Sans Makes a Difference

    Not all air purifiers are created equal. Some fare better at preventing winter allergies than others. 

    As an industry leader, Sans is equipped with a cutting-edge three-stage filtration system, plus a UV-C light sterilization feature, for maximum protection against harmful allergens and pollutants.

    Here’s how it works

    The air passes through a pre-filter first, where relatively larger particulate matter, such as dust and hair, gets trapped. For the second line of defense, the air passes through the medical-grade HEPA 13 filter, recommended by the U.S. Department of Health because it has proven to be effective at trapping particles as tiny as 0.1 microns with 99.95% efficiency. This means Sans’ HEPA 13 filter can even trap bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. 

    Next, the activated carbon filter comes into play, neutralizing harmful gases in the air. In order to kill off the microorganisms trapped in the filters and ensure that they won’t grow back to make you sick, the air purifier generates pulses of UV-C light.

    With all these features working in harmony, the Sans air purifier is an excellent tool for preventing winter allergies and keeping indoor air easier to breathe. This, combined with the other tips we’ve covered in this blog, will keep you sufficiently equipped and capable of keeping your whole family safe and healthy not only during the winter but throughout the whole year.

    Shop with Sans today.