Now that the weather is slowly becoming colder, you might think your allergies will finally go away. However, there are allergens in your house that can cause trouble during the winter months. The end of October usually brings the end to ragweed season, one of the most notorious allergens. While the cold brings an end to most pollen allergies, allergens are still lurking. Indoor allergies are sometimes ignored, but they can cause a lot of issues in the winter. Everyone spends more time indoors due to the weather, and they spend more time around indoor allergens.

Allergens Hiding Inside

Common indoor allergens include animal dander/pet allergies, molds, cockroach, and dust mites. Dry air can also cause dry skin and irritate the sinuses. Humidifiers can help soothe sinus passages, but they can also carry dust and mold that cause allergy issues. Dust mites are the number one indoor allergen, and they grow best where there is moisture. Mold can also grow within the humidifier and be blown into the house. There are steps you can take to avoid mold and dust mites while using a humidifier.

How To Rid Yourself of Indoor Allergens

When dealing with humidifiers, it is important to clean and change the filter in the humidifier on a regular basis. Keeping the humidity level inside between 40-50% can also help minimize dust mites. Using distilled or demineralized water in the humidifier can also help, because the higher levels of minerals in tap water can increase bacteria growth.

Wash bedding weekly in hot water and dried in a hot dryer. Allergen-proof covers are also available. Regularly washing and drying throw rugs can also help keep indoor allergens at bay. Making sure the house is dry in areas that might become damp is important for keeping mold away. To rid yourself of mold growth on hard surfaces, use water, detergent, and 5% bleach if necessary. Make sure to dry the area completely when done. If dealing with cockroaches, sealing crevices and fixing leaky pipes is a must. Keeping a clean kitchen and having an exterminator go through the house will also help rid you of roaches.

Now that the weather is causing us to spend more time indoors, it is important to make sure your house is as allergy friendly as possible. Identifying and eliminating indoor allergens can help you avoid allergy symptoms this winter. If you need help maintaining your allergies, visit a Board-Certified Allergist. To schedule an appointment with one of National Allergy & ENT’s Board-Certified Allergists, call (843) 797-8162 or schedule online.

Source: AAAAI