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Monday, 31 October 2022

Winter Allergy Tips

 


Even though freezing temperatures bring an end to seasonal pollen allergies, millions of persons are living with winter allergies due to the time spent indoors during cool weather. A house can actually contribute to sickness because of  winter allergens, mainly molds, dust mites and animal dander.


Forced-air furnaces circulate airborne dust including lint, fabric fiber, bacteria, food material and animal dander. Three of the most general allergens - house dust mites, animal dander and cockroach droppings - are worse in winter when there is less ventilation.


Some general symptoms of indoor, winter allergies are sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, coughing and postnasal drip, and itchy eyes, nose and throat.


In arid climates like  Denver, there are very low levels of dust mite allergen because of  the lack of relative humidity, which is essential for dust mite survival. In these areas, the predominant winter indoor allergen is either animal dander or cockroach allergen, though utilize of a humidifier may allow dust mites to flourish in the house.


 


Steps to Minimize Indoor Allergen Exposure

 


Keep humidity below 50 % in the home to decrease dust mites.


Remove wall-to-wall carpet, mainly carpet over concrete. Animal dander and molds can become trapped in carpet and rugs, and dampness can accumulate between the concrete and pad/carpet, creating an environment for dust mites and mold.


Minimize contact with pets, and keep them strictly out of the bedrooms to decrease the amount of allergen in the room.


Bathe your pets weekly, if possible, to wash away dander and other allergens from a their fur.


Vary your clothes, bathe and wash your hair after playing with your pet and before going to bed.


Wash bedding in hot water (at least 130° F) once a week to decrease the dust mite load in the bedding.


Encase pillows and mattresses in impermeable covers to decrease  exposure to dust mites.


Ignore down pillows and comforters, which form a nice habitat for dust mites and can, in and of themselves, be allergenic.


Clean regularly, and utilize a damp mop for cleaning hardwood floors to ignore stirring up dust.


Quickly wipe down wet surfaces, mainly in the bathrooms and kitchen, to keep mold from growing. Good insulation can aid cut down on mold by decreasing condensation on cold surfaces.


If you are the one who is suffering during the winter months, have someone else in your home do the dusting and vacuuming. If you can, leave the home while the cleaning is being done.



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