You may think of allergies as a springtime nuisance; however, allergy symptoms can persist throughout the year. Though individuals with allergic rhinitis (hay fever) certainly suffer when flowers return to full bloom, airborne allergy triggers can be encountered in any environment and any season.
Here are four common seasonal allergy triggers that may leave you wheezing, sneezing, and itchy at the nose:
In many parts of the country, the dampness of winter provides the perfect environment for mold growth. Mold spores float through the air and enter your nose and lungs when you breathe, causing many individuals to experience sinus-related allergy symptoms. If you suspect a mold allergy, check your basement, attic, cupboards and areas with houseplants for mold. Mold removal and better in-home ventilation may be necessary to keep the fungus and your symptoms at bay.
2. Pet Dander
Cuddling up with your pet during seasonal weather might trigger your indoor allergies. Even if you’ve never had a pet dander allergy before, adults can develop new allergies at any time. About 5-10% of Americans are allergic to pet dander, and your homes are likely a high-danger environment. Be sure to vacuum regularly, and keep pets out of the bedroom for a more comfortable sleep.
4. Tree Allergies
If you’re allergic to pollen, you might be allergic to Christmas trees. Though researchers still aren’t sure how Christmas trees trigger rhinitis, some suspect that mold, pollen from the outdoors, or strong piney odors may play a part. Observe whether your symptoms flare up around the holidays, and consider switching a real tree for a synthetic one if you suspect your evergreen is to blame.
Other Non-Allergen Culprits
The runny nose and itchy eyes you experience in the winter may not be caused by allergies at all. Changes in humidity, temperature, and even wood smoke can trigger vasomotor rhinitis. This non-allergy type of rhinitis still causes congestion. Keep tissues handy, but don’t reach for allergy medications until you’re sure that a brisk wind isn’t to blame for your drippy nostrils.
Staying healthy while combating seasonal allergies is always a challenge. Not only do you have to defend against the cold and flu virus, but many allergy sufferers also must keep allergies at bay. If you’re sneezing and wheezing, use this guide to determine the possible source. With observation and a few home remedies for sinus and allergy problems, you can breathe a bit easier this season.