This post was authored by Dr. Todd Mahr, an allergist and immunologist who treats and manages disorders such as asthma, hives, all types of allergies (food, environmental, etc.), rhinitis and sinusitis, as well as other disorders and diseases that affect the body’s immune system.
For the allergy sufferer, the winter season is often greeted with nasal congestion, a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing and other symptoms that can make it difficult to enjoy all of the activities that make this season special.
The winter season often causes people who suffer from indoor allergies to have even more issues due to the increased time spent inside. Some of the most common indoor allergens include dust, animal dander and mold. Here are some important tips to help cope with allergies this time of year.
1. Ditch the Doubt. Do you feel tired and can’t figure out why?
This winter, if you are experiencing recurring cold-like symptoms that last longer than a few weeks, you may be suffering from seasonal allergies. Quit the “Is it a cold? Is it allergies?” guessing game and go visit your doctor. If you are suffering from allergies, your doctor can determine your individual allergy triggers and may recommend an over-the-counter (OTC) nasal allergy spray or antihistamine.
2. Be Prepared.
Don’t wait until you are waist deep in the snow to start thinking about your options. If you usually take OTC or prescription allergy medication during this season, remember to head to the drug store early, so you have the right medication in your medicine cabinet when your allergies start to hit.
3. Plain and Simple: Avoidance.
Avoid those winter triggers that may cause your allergies, including dust, mold and pet dander. If you cannot avoid these triggers, help minimize them by cleaning and vacuuming regularly with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, inspecting your home for signs of mold growth and bathing any pets regularly.
Disclosure: Dr. Mahr is a Nasacort Allergy 24HR spokesperson who has been compensated for his time.