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Avoid Ohio’s Winter Allergies
OhioHealth
Dec 13, 2016
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Here’s how to curtail the three most common culprits

When the temperatures cool down, many allergy sufferers in Ohio breathe a sigh of relief. Though you’re less likely to suffer from itchy eyes and a runny nose from springtime allergens like pollen, there are other cold-weather seasonal allergies in the Midwest that can cause symptoms to flare up. But no need to worry — here’s a guide to the three most common winter allergies, and how you can keep symptoms from affecting your holiday plans.

Dust mites: Unpacking winter blankets, bedding and sweaters can release dust mites, or microscopic bugs, in your home. Their droppings can cause reactions, and those tend to flare up in the winter as you’re firing up a furnace and spending more time indoors.
How to deal: Dust mites tend to be less common in areas with drier climates, so adjusting humidity in your home could keep them at bay. Also, wash your bedding in hot water once per week, and protect pillows with impermeable covers.

Mold: This allergen typically accumulates in damp basements or other areas of the home with wetness. Mold spores can cause hay fever symptoms even in the winter and more seriously can trigger asthma. While mold allergies tend to peak in the spring, being cooped up inside your home can increase sensitivity to any existing mold spores that exist.
How to deal: Skip raking leaves (where mold spores tend to accumulate), and use a humidifier in your home to decrease dampness.

Animals: Dander from animals can trigger more sensitive reactions in the winter season because you and your animals are inside together more often. There also is less air circulation so pet dander can be more concentrated in the air and hence, more noticeable.
How to deal: Change your furnace filter once per month, and talk to your doctor about medication to lessen symptoms. Try to groom your animal weekly, and if you do not have a pet, avoid visiting friends or family during the holidays who do. Instead, offer to host at your home, where you can control your exposure to animal dander.

Want to get out of the house this winter? Check out these winter festivals!