It's winter. The cold air outside means the pollen count is low. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean your allergies won't act up when you're indoors. There are actually a few things that can make your allergies act up during the cold winter months. Here are five steps you can take to prevent allergy flare-ups this winter.
Keep the Mold Spores Outdoors
If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove, the wood you use could be exposing you to mold spores. This is particularly true if you keep your firewood stored in the house. Damp firewood can contain mold spores, which can be released into the air that you're breathing. Make a small pile of firewood outside your door. It will be nearby when you need it but you won't have to worry about mold in your air. Once you place your wood in the fireplace, the heat will kill any mold spores that are present.
Change Your Furnace Filter
Under normal conditions, you should be changing your furnace filter once every three months. However, if you suffer from asthma or allergies, you should change your filter once a month. This is especially important if you suffer from allergies that are made worse by dust exposure. Keeping your filter clean will prevent breathing problems and will keep your allergy systems under control.
Bathe Your Pets
If you have pets that come indoors during the cold winter months, you'll want to increase their bath schedules. Dander can build up on your pets, which can make your allergies much worse. During the winter, when your pets spend more time inside the house, be sure to bathe them once a week.
Beware of Extreme Temperature Changes
Asthma symptoms can be aggravated by extreme temperature changes. If you suffer from asthma or allergy-related breathing problems, protect your face when you gone from warm to cold air. Wrap a scarf around your face when you go outside, especially during frigid weather. This simple step will help prevent an asthma attack.
Keep the Air Moist
During the winter, you'll be using your furnace or fireplace to keep you warm – which can dry out the air you're breathing. Unfortunately, dry air can also dry out your throat and lungs. When that happens, allergy and asthma symptoms can increase. Use a humidifier during the winter to keep the air and your lungs moist.
If you suffer from allergies, the cold weather can trigger symptoms if you're not careful. The information provided here will help keep your symptoms under control this winter. For more advice, speak to an allergy specialist.