Allergies can be a big problem, particularly for people who tend to have heightened sensitivity towards certain allergens. Although the onset of winters means that the airborne pollen levels will reduce, some allergies can actually increase in winter.
The drop in mercury levels and the changing temperature reduce the seasonal allergies one tends to get because of pollen, but the change paves the way for winter allergies. Millions of people complain of a flare-up in their allergy symptoms during the winter season.
If you’re among those who suffer at the hands of winter allergies, you’re in the right place. Let’s discuss which allergies are common in winter and how you can manage them efficiently to reduce the symptoms.
What Causes Winter Allergies?
Winter mean the onset of the festive season, and people tend to spend more time indoors than in any other season. According to studies, COVID-19 has forced people to spend as much as 90% of their time indoors as the world was forced to work from behind a screen.
As we mentioned, airborne pollen level actually plummets during winters, but that’s for the outdoor air. The
indoor air can have all sorts of allergens,
including dust, pet dander, moulds, and smog particles in places that don’t get ample ventilation.
The indoor space and HVAC systems that cycle contaminated air can be the leading cause behind your allergy flare-up. Forced-air furnaces are known to house many allergens, including lint, fabric, microbes, pet dander, and dust specks.
As the ventilation becomes non-existent and the use of furnaces increases, you might notice a runny nose, sore throat, itchy and watery eyes, or in some cases, a stuffy nose. The winter weather can lead to smog that can bring in even more allergens, including smoke, ash, VOCs, and other harmful chemicals.
How to Manage Winter Allergies?
The best way to manage your allergies is to know what triggers the allergies and to what extent are you sensitive towards allergens. Knowing your allergies is simple, and you can easily order your blood or allergy test kit from the ease of your home.
Once you know what can affect your health, the best bet is to avoid that allergen as much as you can. You can use advanced face masks or wear a protective covering to manage allergies efficiently.
How to Minimize Allergen Exposure?
The best way to manage indoor allergen exposure is to keep the indoor humidity levels under 50%. High humidity levels can accelerate the dust mite and microbial growth rates in the indoor space.
If the test results indicate that you’re allergic to pet dander or mites, then reducing skin contact with them is your best bet. You should look up what will help manage the pet dander levels as bathing a dog weekly reduces dander, while bathing a ferret can actually increase the problem.
Make sure the bedding, carpets, and other upholstery are cleaned regularly. These can carry allergens that will get stuck in your HVAC or furnaces. You can use an air purifier to make sure your indoor space is safe to breathe in, and problems like dust and mould are managed.
Written by Dr Enzo Fornari, trained as Pharmaceutical Biotechnologist, with PhD qualification in Biophysics and surface analysis. Dr Enzo is employed by Healthy Stuff as a Scientific Researcher: validating our tests, researching new testing methods and ensuring best practice in the lab. You can check out his profile here.
At Test Your Intolerance, we know that allergies tend to flare up in winters but our quick tests and help you to know your allergies, which can help manage them in the best possible manner. You’ll be surprised by the improvement in the quality of your life by tweaking a few things that will help minimize your contact with allergens.