Think in the long, cold winter all your allergies will go away? Think again! You’d hope in the winter most of your allergens would be hibernating. Sadly, there are several reasons your allergies can act up!
Read about these 7 surprising winter allergies and how to prevent them.
1. Damp wood
What’s better than a crackling fire on a cold winter night? Unfortunately, that damp wood you just brought in from outside probably has mold growing on it and can trigger your mold allergy.
Keep wood stacked and covered outside a few feet from the house. Only bring in a couple pieces of wood in at a time. Wear gloves when handling the wood!
Any smoke that might float in from a fire in the fireplace or stove can trigger your allergies. Unlike an outdoor bonfire, the smoke is confined and more likely to irritate. This can cause allergies to flare up!
If possible, clean or get your chimney cleaned before the winter season. If smoke is an issue during a crackling fire then crack a window.
3. Pet Dander
Like humans, now your pets are stuck inside on long cold days. Now your pet’s’ dander is concentrated in the house. In the winter it’s important to keep your carpets and fabrics clean of pet dander. That means frequent vacuuming and spot cleaning couches.
Bathe and brush your pets regularly during the winter months.
4. Pine trees
Yes, your Christmas tree or wreath can contribute to your allergies! The classic Christmas tree, the pine, contains terpenes. Terpenes are produced by plants and can trigger an allergic reaction. Since the tree was outside growing and now you’ve brought it inside along with any mold or pollens.
It’s best to use a fake tree if you find yourself suffering from pine allergies. Don’t worry! Your Christmas tree will still be just as magical.
5. Dry Air
With the heat on high and the dry winter air, your nose and throat will feel dry, scratchy, and you’ll feel dehydrated. Tame this winter irritation by drinking lots of water, eating water-rich vegetables and fruits, and drinking hot tea.
Nasal congestion? Drinking hot drinks like tea, hot cocoa, and coffee can help break up nasal congestion.
6. Party Snacking
Research shows that all the traveling and long holiday parties combined with heavy snacking on sugary treats can trigger your allergies! When you’re already tired (but having a great holiday) and eating poorly, you can compromise your immune system.
Don’t compromise the holidays fun If you’re feeling tired or run down resist that extra sugar cookie covered in frosting. Attending a party? Offer to bring the fruits and veggies. Be sure to drink lots of water when you’re visiting family and friends. Bring a water bottle or ask for a glass of water.
7. Your Blankets!
Yep! Those wonderful blankets you love to snuggle in staying warm and watching your favorite holiday movies can become allergen laden in weeks. Blankets collect pollens, pet dander, and even dust mites!
Be sure to wash your blankets and bedspreads every other week in the winter in water 130 degrees or more.