Indoor allergens such as dander, dust mites, and mold will take their toll on allergy sufferers more during the winter since people spend more time indoors during the cold months. Some of us may not be affected by these allergens, while others will suffer through the full force of winter allergies. Our Allergist in Little Rock at Arkansas Otolaryngology Center recommends these tips to minimize winter allergen exposure:
Allergen proof the house. Well, you can’t exactly do that, but you can help to make sure your home isn’t a breeding ground for winter allergens. Keep humidity below 50 percent in the home to reduce dust mites. Clean regularly, and use a damp mop for cleaning hardwood floors to avoid stirring up dust. Immediately wipe down wet surfaces, especially in the bathrooms and kitchen, to keep mold from growing. Manage your time and care with pets. Yes, unfortunately, you and your furry best friend(s) might need a little time apart. Minimize contact with pets, and keep them strictly out of the bedrooms to reduce the amount of allergen in the room. Bathe your pets weekly, if possible, to wash away dander and other allergens from their fur. Change your clothes, bathe and wash your hair after playing with your pet and before going to bed. Clean up the bedroom. It seems like a no-brainer, but to reduce allergens during the winter, you’ll need to take a little extra care in the place where you sleep. Wash bedding in hot water (at least 130° F) once a week to reduce the dust mite load in the bedding. Encase pillows and mattresses in impermeable covers to reduce exposure to dust mites. Avoid down pillows and comforters, which form a nice habitat for dust mites and can, in and of themselves, be allergenic. If you are the one who is suffering during the winter months, have someone else in your house do the dusting and vacuuming. If you can, leave the house while the cleaning is being done. For treatment of winter allergies and for more information, contact our Allergist in Little Rock at Arkansas Otolaryngology Center.