winter allergies

How to Keep Allergies at Bay During Freezing Temperatures

Disney's Frozen won best animated feature at the 71st Golden Globes Awards held last  January 12 in Beverly Hills, California. The title, ironically, is apt for the current state of twenty-six states who are experiencing the brunt of the polar vortex that has engulfed a large part of America. The brutally cold winds have kept majority inside their homes trying to keep warm amidst freezing temperatures. This situation poses an additional problem for those with allergies as prolonged time indoors will expose them more to allergens inside the house like dust mites, mold spores and pet dander. There is also increased risk of exposure to irritants like smoke, chemicals from household sprays as well as gas fumes.

The frigid weather is expected to continue as another polar chill is set to hit Northern U.S. this week with a cold spell that is predicted to come in three waves. This spells bad news for those with indoor allergies who can't just let it go and sing "the cold doesn't bother me anyway". They will have to brace for the icy weather and do their best to prepare so they can alleviate their allergies while being stuck indoors. Here are some things they can do. 

Wash Often 

Washing here doesn't only pertain to bed linens. It also means that you should be diligent in washing your hands--often--especially after spending quality time with your pet or when you've just arrived home coming from public places. When you are washing your bed sheets or pajamas, it should be done in hot water. Ideally temperature should be above 130 degrees in order to kill dust mites that may be clinging on the cloth. 

Keep Warm (Not Humid)

Furnaces are great for helping you keep warm especially in freezing temperatures during the polar chill. If you are making use of this, do use furnace filters that are very efficient in capturing more allergens. Furnace fans should always be on. Keeping warm and balancing the humidity level inside your home can be challenging. Try to maintain your indoor humidity levels to just between 30-40 percent. You can do this by using either a humidifier or a dehumidifier. This is important since it helps in preventing mold growth. Changing humidifier water as well as filters should be done as often as recommended by the manufacturers in order to prevent bacterial contamination. 

Create an Allergen-Free Haven

Your bedroom is your sanctuary, which makes sense why this should be a safe haven for you from allergens. Keep it free from allergy triggers like carpets, pets and plants. Carpets and rugs can increase the chances of contact with dust mites while plants--decaying ones--can host mold spores. Your room should be off limits to your pets as pet dander is also an allergy trigger. When cleaning your room, make sure you use the type of vacuum cleaner that also picks up allergens. If you haven't invested in this model yet, there is a range of robotic cleaners that you can browse through at sites like Neato Robotics. Just because it's winter doesn't mean that you are given a reprieve from your allergies. Some allergies occur all year round so it's better to be vigilant especially in cold weather when the indoors can trigger your allergies and make them worse.


About the Author: Based in San Diego California, Tiffany Matthews is a professional writer with over 6 years of writing experience. She also blogs about travel, fashion, and anything under the sun at wordbaristas.com, a group blog that she shares with her good friends. In her free time, she likes to travel, read books, and watch movies. You can find her on Twitter as @TiffyCat87.

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