When we think of winter, allergies don't immediately come to mind.  However, for some North Dakotans, it's a constant reminder that their body is betraying them.
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According to the allergy medication company Zyrtec, not only are winter allergies common, but the causes are well known.

Understanding Winter Allergies

As the nights grow shorter, the promise of cooler weather might be alluring after the summer's high pollen counts. However, allergens persist in colder climates, and wintertime allergies can still make you feel miserable.

Continue reading to learn about the typical causes of wintertime allergies, possible symptoms, and treatment options.

Can You Get Allergies In The Winter?

If you have seasonal allergies, you may think that once the weather gets colder, allergens won't affect you. Ultimately, the air contains significantly less pollen. The unfavorable report? Winter allergies are a real problem for a lot of people. Winter allergies are frequently referred to as "perennial allergies," which means that they are not just limited to the spring, summer, and fall but can manifest at any time of the year.

Allergies resulting from cold weather are caused by mold spores, mildew, dust mites, and pet dander, not pollen.

Keep in mind that during the winter, colds tend to be more common. Therefore, before acting, it's always a good idea to make sure you don't have a cold or winter allergies.

When Is Winter Allergy Season?

As the temperature drops and we start spending more time indoors, the winter allergy season officially begins. As autumn transitions into winter in November, you might start to feel the effects of these allergies. By staying inside and turning up the heating, you may be able to avoid the midwinter cold. However, it entails spending more time in close proximity to your pets and increasing dust exposure.

Outside threats should also be taken into account. Mold and mildew can cause symptoms of winter allergies, such as a runny nose or sneezing.

In the winter, there should be little chance of seasonal allergies brought on by pollen. But tree pollen can cause problems starting in the early spring, and it can even show up in January.

What Causes Winter Allergies?

Here are some common winter allergens to be aware of:

Pet Dander

An allergic reaction can occur at any time of year, but it is more common during the winter when we spend more time indoors due to pet dander and skin cell proteins.

Mold

Winter allergies, both indoor and outdoor, are frequently brought on by mold spores. Consider these mushrooms to be the winter pollen equivalent. Mold spores can irritate your eyes and throat because they float in the air like pollen.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are tiny, skin- and dander-eating insects that are found in carpets, couches, and beds. They are especially problematic in the winter because they prefer warm, humid climates.

Consult your doctor if you think you might have allergies to mold, dust mites, or pets to get confirmation or to find out if there could be another cause of your symptoms.

Winter Allergy Symptoms

Winter and cold-weather allergy symptoms can include:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • A runny nose and congestion
  • Itchy eyes
  • A sore throat

When the cold snap hits and you don't feel well, you might mistake the symptoms of an allergy for a common cold. The good news is that determining the difference between a cold and winter allergies is not too difficult.

A cold, for instance, usually passes after ten days, but the symptoms of a winter allergy can persist for weeks or months. If any of the symptoms persist for more than a week, consult your physician.

How To Alleviate Winter Allergies

Anytime you have wintertime allergies, there are a few easy things you can do to help control your symptoms. Among them are:

  • Checking firewood for mold. In order to prevent mold growth in your home during the winter allergy season, move any firewood outside. Bring in only the items you intend to use right away.
  • Wiping your feet. Always clean your shoes before stepping from the damp outdoors onto your property. By doing this, damp leaves, mold, and other elements that could exacerbate the symptoms of winter allergies will remain outside.
  • Being smart with storage. When not in use, store seasonal goods in airtight containers to prevent the growth of mold and dust.
  • Vacuuming regularly. Although vacuuming may seem like a chore, it can remove pet dander and dust mites. A weekly wash of your bed linens in hot water might also solve the problem.
  • Cleaning furnace filters. Maintaining your filters should help cut down on the amount of dust that escapes from your heating vents. Additionally, a dehumidifier or HEPA filter could improve your home's air quality.
  • Bathing your pets. Regular pet cleaning is worthwhile. In the event that dander is a serious issue, you could even prevent them from entering your bedroom.

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