Allergies in Winter: Causes and How to Treat | Claritin

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Allergies in Winter

Your home is your sanctuary during the winter, a cozy spot to spend time with your family and friends. Unfortunately, winter allergens include many substances found right in your home. If you suffer from perennial allergic rhinitisX allergic rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis is a condition caused by the overreaction of the immune system to allergens from plants, dust, mold and animals. Common symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, itching of the nose or throat.
— or year-round allergies — here are some suggestions your winter allergyX allergy
An exaggerated response of the immune system to a substance that is ordinarily harmless.
action plan.

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Can You Have Allergies in the Winter?

If pollenX pollen
A fine, powdery substance, typically yellow, consisting of microscopic grains discharged from the male part of a flower called stamens or from the male cone of a tree.
counts drop to zero after the first frost, how can you have allergies in winter? It’s a good question — pollenX pollen
A fine, powdery substance, typically yellow, consisting of microscopic grains discharged from the male part of a flower called stamens or from the male cone of a tree.
is in fact less of a problem in winter. However, when it’s cold outside, you spend more time exposing yourself to indoor allergens. These substances can be just as allergenic, if not more so, than spring and summer pollenX pollen
A fine, powdery substance, typically yellow, consisting of microscopic grains discharged from the male part of a flower called stamens or from the male cone of a tree.
.

Causes of Allergies in Winter

Icon of a dust cloud

Dust Mites

Dust mitesX Dust mites
A common trigger for indoor allergies. They are microscopic mites that live in the fibers of pillows, mattresses, blankets and carpet. They live off of our dead skin cells. Inhalation of their droppings can cause allergic reactions such as runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion.
are microscopic bugs that live on dead human skin and pet dander. These pests are found anywhere dust particles collect. Even if you’re a neat freak, it’s impossible to rid your home entirely of this common indoor allergenX allergen
A substance that your body perceives as foreign and harmful; initiates the allergic reaction.
.

Icon of a dog and cat

Pet Dander

The proteins found in animals’ skin cells, saliva and liquid waste cause the symptoms of pet allergies. These particles are so light that they can become airborne with the slightest breeze and can stick to your shoes, clothes, skin and hair.

Icon of a mold spore

Mold

MoldX Mold
Parasitic, microscopic fungi (like Alternaria) that float in the air like pollen. Mold spores are a common trigger for allergies and can be found in damp areas, such as the basement or bathroom, as well as outdoors in grass, leaf piles, hay, mulch or under mushrooms.
can shed spores all year. Since moldX mold
Parasitic, microscopic fungi (like Alternaria) that float in the air like pollen. Mold spores are a common trigger for allergies and can be found in damp areas, such as the basement or bathroom, as well as outdoors in grass, leaf piles, hay, mulch or under mushrooms.
thrives in damp spaces, moldX mold
Parasitic, microscopic fungi (like Alternaria) that float in the air like pollen. Mold spores are a common trigger for allergies and can be found in damp areas, such as the basement or bathroom, as well as outdoors in grass, leaf piles, hay, mulch or under mushrooms.
allergyX allergy
An exaggerated response of the immune system to a substance that is ordinarily harmless.
symptoms may be worse in rooms like bathrooms, laundry rooms or crawl spaces. Outdoor moldX mold
Parasitic, microscopic fungi (like Alternaria) that float in the air like pollen. Mold spores are a common trigger for allergies and can be found in damp areas, such as the basement or bathroom, as well as outdoors in grass, leaf piles, hay, mulch or under mushrooms.
can form in shady, damp areas.

Icon showcasing seed dispersal off of a flower

Pollen

In warmer climates, pollenX pollen
A fine, powdery substance, typically yellow, consisting of microscopic grains discharged from the male part of a flower called stamens or from the male cone of a tree.
allergies can be a problem all year round. Additionally, during mild winters, pollenX pollen
A fine, powdery substance, typically yellow, consisting of microscopic grains discharged from the male part of a flower called stamens or from the male cone of a tree.
season can start as early as January or February. Learn more about how to alleviate pollen allergy symptoms.

How to Help Reduce Allergies in Winter

Icon of a bucket with soap

Clean Up

During the winter, it’s normal to spend more time inside. That makes cleaning even more important than usual. Dust, mop and vacuum regularly to help get rid of dust mitesX dust mites
A common trigger for indoor allergies. They are microscopic mites that live in the fibers of pillows, mattresses, blankets and carpet. They live off of our dead skin cells. Inhalation of their droppings can cause allergic reactions such as runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion.
and pet dander. Clean bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms with moldX mold
Parasitic, microscopic fungi (like Alternaria) that float in the air like pollen. Mold spores are a common trigger for allergies and can be found in damp areas, such as the basement or bathroom, as well as outdoors in grass, leaf piles, hay, mulch or under mushrooms.
-killing cleaners. Wash your clothes, hands and face to remove allergenic particles. Each week launder your bedding in hot water — a water temperature of at least 130°F will kill dust mitesX dust mites
A common trigger for indoor allergies. They are microscopic mites that live in the fibers of pillows, mattresses, blankets and carpet. They live off of our dead skin cells. Inhalation of their droppings can cause allergic reactions such as runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion.
.

Icon of two water droplets

Keep Humidity in Check

You might think of winter as a drier time than usual, thanks to the furnace running 24/7. But moldX mold
Parasitic, microscopic fungi (like Alternaria) that float in the air like pollen. Mold spores are a common trigger for allergies and can be found in damp areas, such as the basement or bathroom, as well as outdoors in grass, leaf piles, hay, mulch or under mushrooms.
can still thrive in damp areas, like your basement. So can dust mitesX dust mites
A common trigger for indoor allergies. They are microscopic mites that live in the fibers of pillows, mattresses, blankets and carpet. They live off of our dead skin cells. Inhalation of their droppings can cause allergic reactions such as runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion.
— they “drink” by absorbing moisture, so they’re most prevalent in humid areas. To help keep moldX mold
Parasitic, microscopic fungi (like Alternaria) that float in the air like pollen. Mold spores are a common trigger for allergies and can be found in damp areas, such as the basement or bathroom, as well as outdoors in grass, leaf piles, hay, mulch or under mushrooms.
from growing and dust mitesX dust mites
A common trigger for indoor allergies. They are microscopic mites that live in the fibers of pillows, mattresses, blankets and carpet. They live off of our dead skin cells. Inhalation of their droppings can cause allergic reactions such as runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion.
from thriving, keep the relative humidity in your home below 50 percent. Air circulation from furnaces, dehumidifiers and ceiling fans help keep your home dry.

Icon of a cloud and wind

Filter the Air

Properly filtering the air in your house is one of the best ways to help keep from breathing in airborne particles — especially when you are indoors more than usual. Be sure to change your furnace filter regularly to trap dust more efficiently. Use an air purifier in bedrooms to reduce allergens.

Could It Be a Cold?

Wondering if your seasonal sniffles are winter allergies or a cold? Find out five differences.

REFERENCES

  1. Pet Allergy. Mayo Clinic. Accessed April 1, 2020.
  2. Do You Need an Air Filter? WebMD. Accessed March 24, 2020.
  3. Dust Mite Allergy. Mayo Clinic. Accessed April 1, 2020.

Today's pollen forecast

WHIPPANY, NJ
07981
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LOW

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