Why Are Your Allergies Getting Worse in the Winter?

Seasonal allergies are most often associated with the warmer months when plants bloom and pollen takes to the air. For many, however, winter can be equally as difficult as indoor allergies have more of an impact.

As allergy specialists, Dr. Alexa Lessow and our team understand that many allergies don’t hibernate when winter rolls around. Just because hay fever is taking a break doesn’t mean that other allergies won’t rear their heads.

In this post, we take a look at why some people have more trouble during the winter months when it comes to allergies.

Heading indoors

This year more than most, New Yorkers are not only heading indoors to avoid the cold, but they’re also avoiding public spaces due to the current health crisis. On top of this, many are spending more time inside their homes while working remotely.

This extended time at home can prove troublesome for those who suffer from indoor allergies.

Common indoor allergies

When it comes to indoor allergies, there are some common culprits, which include:

Dust mites

No matter how clean your home may be, it’s tough to fully eliminate dust mites, which are microscopic insects that feed on dead human skin cells. Thanks to their appetite, they live where skin cells are found most, including in your bed linens, curtains, carpets, and furniture. 

Cockroach droppings

Adding to the less-than-desirable house guest list are cockroaches and many people are allergic to their droppings. This allergy is exacerbated when you turn on the heat, which forces these allergens into the air to circulate.

Pets

Even those animals you do want in your home — your pets — can be a source of increased winter allergies. During the winter, your pets may also spend more time inside, releasing their dander everywhere.

Mold

Mold loves humid climates like we have here in New York and it can continue to grow in the winter. Even if you don’t see any mold, spores can be hiding in places like your bathroom, kitchen, and in old carpeting.

Tackling winter allergies

If you suffer from allergies this winter, you can take a few steps to offset their impact. The first is to come see us so that we can identify the allergen, provide you with medications, and help you put a plan in place for the homefront.

Since you’re spending more time indoors, it’s also important to make sure your air is filtered through your HVAC system and that it’s properly humidified. You can also increase your cleaning efforts in certain areas to rid your home of your identified allergen.

To get started on an allergy-free winter, contact our office on the Upper East Side to set up an appointment.

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