For people with allergies, you may think of spring as the worst time of year. While often that is true, winter should not be taken lightly. An optometrist will frequently see allergy sufferers who are just as miserable in the colder months as in typical blooming seasons. Following is a list of the most common winter allergens and how to help mitigate their effects.
These organisms are microscopic and live almost everywhere. They frequently fester in bedding, carpet, dust, and our bodies. Dust mites are frequently the culprit of allergy issues since they leave their skeletons and waste behind. To manage this allergy, bedding should be frequently washed and dried at high temperatures, including pillows. Carpets should be cleaned thoroughly or even eliminated in favor of hard surfaces. Regular dusting using a damp cloth will help keep dust, and therefore dust mites, from recirculating into the air. An optometrist can prescribe eye drops to help with the symptoms of this allergy.
Damp areas such as bathrooms and basements can be a hotbed for mold or mildew. A home with a mold problem can be extremely dangerous to someone with this type of allergy, as spores can also be airborne. People allergic to mold often have severe respiratory issues like asthma which can be deadly, especially in the case of toxic black mold.
While your fluffy critters may not cause an allergic reaction during other seasons, having a house closed up during winter or turning on the heat may cause animal dander in the air to increase or become more airborne. This can trigger the red and watery eyes often seen by an optometrist. Clean carpets (or again, eliminate carpet), keep pets groomed, change your HVAC filters regularly, and use a topical product on pets to cut down on the disbursement of dander.
As with any time of the year, winter blooming plants and trees can exacerbate pollen allergies. Don’t forget about the Christmas tree, which is a frequent source of misery for allergy sufferers. Keep blooming plants out of the house and use artificial greenery during the holidays to manage pollen.
Wintertime allergies are certainly not a trivial matter to those who are afflicted. Effectively managing these common allergens can make winter far more survivable for them. For more advice on preventing and treating seasonal allergies, please see an optometrist and an allergy specialist.