Posted on: 1 December 2020Share
For most people, the thought of allergies triggers thoughts of spring and summer when pollen is at its highest levels. The truth is that although spring and summer are the most prevalent for pollen allergies, you may still face allergy problems in the winter months. If you've found yourself needing the services of an allergist for relief even during the winter season, it's important to recognize the most common culprits for winter allergies. Here's a look at what you need to know about winter allergies and what can cause them.
One of the downsides of the winter months is the fact that most of your home gets closed up and you lose the fresh air that you can enjoy during spring and summer. This means that any allergens in your home are trapped inside, creating prolonged exposure. Dust, pet dander, and the like are more highly concentrated in the air when you can't open the windows, resulting in increased allergy response.
Dirty Air Vents
If you have a forced-air furnace in your home, it could be another source of your winter allergy problems. While many homeowners keep up with the annual maintenance tasks for the furnace itself, few think to have their air ducts and vents cleaned before turning on the furnace for the year. When you don't have your air vents cleaned before starting your furnace, all of the dust and dander that's settled in them during the offseason gets blown into your home as soon as the furnace starts up. Avoid this by having your vents cleaned when you have the furnace serviced so that you can minimize your allergy response.
Mold spores thrive in damp, warm environments such as what's created in your home in the summer months. Once those spores take hold, they don't die in the winter season. As a result, when your home is closed up for the winter, your forced-air heat can allow those mold spores to travel through your home. For many people, mold spores trigger respiratory responses, including allergies.
During the winter months, the heat running in your home can dry out the air. When the air in your home is dry, it can dry out the mucus membranes in your sinuses. Those mucus membranes are a layer of protection that helps minimize your allergy responses. When the heat and dry air dries out those mucus membranes, it can encourage your allergy response with far less stimulus than you might otherwise need.
Talk with your allergist today for more information about what you may be allergic to so that you can better prepare and combat your personal allergy symptoms.