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People often associate allergies with warmer months when people spend more time outdoors. Pollen and ragweed are extremely common allergens that appear during spring, summer, and sometimes early autumn, leading many to associate spring with the official start of allergy season.

Surprisingly, winter can be just as troublesome a season for people with certain indoor allergies. You may suffer from winter-related allergies if you find yourself itchier or more congested indoors, especially after the temperatures drop.

Today, we’re looking at two possible winter allergens that can trigger allergy patients all season: dust mites and indoor pests.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are microscopic arachnids from the same biological family as spiders and ticks. These tiny creatures are impossible to see with the naked eye. However, they are very common. Dust mites inhabit the bedding of almost every household across the country, even clean, well-maintained homes.

While dust mites are a year-round allergen, patients with a dust mite allergy can experience more intense effects throughout the winter. As people bundle up with more bedding throughout the colder months, they increase their exposure to dust mites and raise their likelihood of experiencing allergy symptoms.

Dust mite allergy symptoms can include:

  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Irritated skin
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Scratchy throat
  • Sneezing

How to Treat a Dust Mite Allergy

Although dust mites are present in nearly every home year-round, there are solutions to tackle your dust mite allergy this winter, including:

  • Allergen-proof bed covers
  • Allergy medications
  • Carpet removal
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Immunotherapy
  • Nasal irrigation techniques
  • Regularly washed bedding
  • Vacuuming and dusting routine

Indoor Pests

Some patients have allergic reactions to waste left behind from mice and cockroaches. When these creatures crawl across surfaces, they often leave behind feces, saliva, fluids, and certain body parts. When an allergy patient comes in contact with the affected surface, they will experience a reaction that can include:

  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Itching
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing

Patients can experience pest allergies at any time of the year, but reactions tend to increase in winter as vermin try to find warmth indoors during the colder months.

How to Treat an Allergy to Indoor Pests

Pests can affect patients year-round, but you can benefit your allergies this winter by:

  • Keeping your home trash-free
  • Lowering indoor humidity levels
  • Maintaining a clean home
  • Planting catnip (deters roaches)
  • Replacing carpet with hardwood
  • Routinely vacuuming and dusting
  • Storing food tightly
  • Taking allergy medications

If you want to find relief from your winter allergies this season, talk to the team at Langford Allergy.

Dr. Langford and our team of allergy specialists can help you pinpoint your allergy triggers and will create a plan of treatment to reduce allergy symptoms throughout the winter season and beyond. Schedule your appointment with us today: 478-787-4728

Interested in learning more about how to fight common winter allergies? Stay tuned for our upcoming blog:

Winter Allergies, Part 2: Mold and Pet Dander