Winter Allergy Flare-Ups
Allergies can cause unpleasant symptoms year-round. Dr. Andrew Parker, your Westport, Norwalk and New Canaan, CT, ear, nose and throat doctor, explains what causes winter flare-ups and what you can do to treat them.
How can I have allergies if it's winter?
Grasses, trees, pollens and other allergens are responsible for many allergies, but they're not the only substances that cause allergy symptoms. Pet dander, dust mites and mold also cause problems for allergy sufferers. Since most of us spend a lot more time indoors during the winter, these allergens can cause flare-ups during the colder months of the year.
Every time your furnace turns on, it probably stirs up a fine mist of dust and mold spores, which eventually drift into your nose, triggering your symptoms. Although you're probably happy to spend more time indoors with your pets during the winter months, exposure to certain proteins found in animal dander, urine and saliva can cause sneezing, congestion and other unpleasant symptoms.
What are winter allergy symptoms?
If you have a winter allergy flare-up, you may experience:
- Runny Nose
- Red or itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
- Dark circles under your eyes
How can I relieve my allergy symptoms in Westport, Norwalk and New Canaan?
Removing mold from your home is an important step. Mold can grow on shower curtains, carpeting, walls, ceilings and floors. If mold is a problem in your home, throw out or clean moldy objects. Cleaning should be ideally performed by someone else in your home to prevent worsening of your allergies.
Dehumidifiers reduce mold, while HEPA air filters can help remove dust in your home. Many of us couldn't imagine life without our furry friends, even though they trigger allergy symptoms. Bathing your pet weekly and keeping it out of your bedroom can help reduce your symptoms.
Over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants can be helpful, but sometimes those products just don't do enough to relieve your symptoms. If you're tired of feeling miserable, your ENT can offer prescription-strength medications that will help you feel better. He may also recommend immunotherapy. The therapy, available in shot or pill from, reduces your symptoms by gradually increasing your exposure to allergens.
Do you suffer from winter allergies? Call Dr. Parker, your Westport, Norwalk and New Canaan, CT, ear, nose and throat doctor, at (203) 866-8121 to schedule your appointment.