Allergies are a common issue for many people. In fact, more than 50 million Americans have allergies of some type every year, making it the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. While allergies are more commonly associated with the spring and fall seasons, many people also experience symptoms in the winter – something that may seem puzzling.
To help you better understand and identify if you or someone in your household is suffering, we’re breaking down what winter allergies are, the signs and symptoms, treatment options, and tips for prevention.
What are Winter Allergies?
If you’re only allergic to pollen, then you likely won’t be afflicted. Winter allergies are exasperated during the colder months when the furnace turns on and people are spending more time inside and less outside, which increases exposure. They’re generally indoor allergies found in houses and include:
- Dust Mites: This year-round allergen is one of the most common and tends to worsen allergies right after dusting or sweeping, as dust has just been disturbed.
- Mold: Mold thrives in damp places and when the spores become airborne, they can cause allergy flare ups.
- Pet Dander: Animals that shed, particularly dogs and cats, leave their hair around the house, which can aggravate allergies. While not owning a pet is the easiest solution, if you already have one, try to keep them off your bed and couches.