Many people associate nasal allergies with warmer weather. This is because pollen, one of the most common allergens, is plentiful in the spring and summer months. But just because pollen counts drop drastically when the weather turns cold doesn’t mean allergies go away. There are still many allergens floating around during the winter months. Most of these allergens are actually found in your home! If you or someone in your family is allergic to dust mites, pet dander or even mold, winter can actually be the toughest season for allergy symptoms. Spending more time indoors because of the cold outside increases your exposure to these allergens. Staying symptom-free throughout the winter months relies on what you do to keep allergen levels at a minimum in your home. Keep reading to learn what you can do to keep cold weather allergies at bay. Begin With the Bedroom Fighting allergens in the bedroom is crucial because it is the place in your home where you sleep and spend the majority of your time. Some of the most effective ways to minimize allergens in the bedroom include:
- Use Allergen Protective Bedding - Specially made allergen protective items such as mattress encasements and pillow covers will create a protective shell around your bedding in order to keep allergens out. This protective layer will not allow allergens to sink into the fibers of your bedding, preventing you from inhaling them while you sleep.
- Wash Bedding Regularly - Even if you are using allergen protective bedding, it is still important to wash your sheets in hot water at least every two weeks to eradicate any allergens that have landed on the bedding. If you want to go an extra step, you may even want to wash your pillows. Using pillows that aren’t washable? You might want to consider switching to a hot water washable pillow.
- Ban Pets - It is possible to live with pets even if you have pet allergies. But keeping your furry friends off of your bed and out of your bedroom will keep pet dander from finding its way into your nose. If you don’t want to leave the door closed all the time, try using a safety gate or pet gate to keep your dog or cat out.
Keep Up With the Cleaning Another effective way to cut down on allergens in your home is to do some light cleaning on a regular basis. This will help reduce dust mites and other allergens that may have settled into carpeting or on bookshelves and other furniture. Vacuuming and dusting at least once a week will keep allergens at a minimum. Be sure to vacuum soft furniture in addition to carpet, and to use a damp cloth when dusting off hard surfaces. This will help ensure that all allergens are taken care of. Keep an Eye Out for Excessive Moisture Molds love to grow anywhere there is excessive moisture. Places in your home you will want to pay extra close attention to include the bathroom, kitchen sink, refrigerators, garbage cans and laundry areas. Scrub these areas down regularly in order to keep ahead of mold build up. This will help keep mold allergy symptoms at bay. The cold of winter is bad enough even when you aren’t sniffling and sneezing. Make sure your family stays allergy free this winter with these tips for fighting cold weather allergies. What other methods do you use to fight allergens in your home?