As soon as the weather starts to turn cold, our entire family breathes a collective sigh of relief that fall allergies are on the way out. Then, a few weeks into winter, we all start developing what I think is the first wave of winter colds. We usually experience sneezing, runny noses, and watery eyes. But these symptoms just don't go away.
Then I remember. We've been spending much more time indoors, and we all suffer from winter allergies, too. Yes, those are a thing! Not only do we have to deal with spring's pollen and fall's leaves, but we're all somewhat allergic to mold and dust mites. If you're allergic to pet dander, then spending more time indoors during the winter can make those allergy symptoms more difficult to manage, too.
Moreover, the furnace that keeps you all nice and toasty during the winter might also spread all of those allergens throughout your home. So that means spending lots of time inside during the winter can cause more than just cabin fever around your house. But I've got a few tricks up my sleeve for tackling winter allergies.
Use a Dehumidifier
Image via Flickr by laszlo-photo
Dehumidifiers help keep the moisture levels in your home down, which decreases mold growth and prevents dust mites from thriving. On the flip side, if you're using a humidifier to help with dry air and winter colds, make sure to change the filters to prevent mold growth.
Try Homeopathic Remedies
Try some homeopathic remedies like a warm cup of tea with honey and lemon or a drop of peppermint oil in the shower. I loathe giving our kids over-the-counter medicines for persistent problems like allergies, so I always try to use a few homeopathic remedies to help them feel better.
Have Your Ductwork Cleaned
Did you remember to have your HVAC system serviced before the cold weather hit? Annual maintenance and regular duct cleaning both go a long way toward improving indoor air quality and decreasing the effects of allergies.
Wash Bedding Frequently
I try to wash our bedding in hot water at least once a week during the winter season. Don't forget your kids' stuffed animals either. If your kiddos are anything like mine, they sleep under a whole pile of them! Wash their stuffed animals in hot water or place them in a plastic bag and freeze overnight.
Install an Air Purifier
Whole-home air purifiers can help reduce the spread of mold spores, dust mites, and pet dander. An air purifier alone might not do the trick, but it can help when combined with other allergen-reducing tactics.
Given the drastic temperature shifts many of us have had this winter, I'm having a hard time just telling which end is up. But at the very least, it seems winter isn't done with us yet. So it's not too late to tackle those winter allergies!
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