AchooAllergy.com Blog

Winter Allergies


Posted by kevvyg on Monday, January 20, 2014
Wet Conditions Early, Making Cedar Pollen Season Miserable NowIt's winter time, and while many of us are struggling with bouts of bitter cold and snow, for some this is prime allergy season. It may seem counterintuitive for allergies, especially any type of pollen allergies, to be worse during the winter months, but one type in particular causes problems for many through the winter months. Making matters worse is that many mistake their allergies for a cold or the flu. (Like something out of an old comic strip, "Is it a cold? Is it the flu? No, it's cedar allergies!") So what's aggravating your allergies? If you live in the Southwest, it could very likely be cedar.

Cedar or mountain cedar pollen is actually a type of Juniper. These trees often soak up summer and fall rains then in December and January begin releasing pollen. With rains being heavier than usual throughout much of the South, the cedar pollen levels are higher than usual in places like North and Central Texas.

Like many allergies, cedar pollen can produce symptoms that are often mistaken for the cold or flu. Runny nose, headache, and sneezing are all common with cedar pollen allergies. While these often typify the common cold, check with your allergist or physician if these symptoms are persistent. For those thinking they have a touch of the flu, do you notice a fever or severe body aches? If neither of these are present, then you're likely dealing with a cold or allergies, not the flu.

Coping with cedar allergies can be a tough task, particularly with higher than usual pollen counts and winds spreading the allergen far and wide. One avoidance measure you can take is using an allergy mask. Thiscan help to block the pollen, and all masks do retain some heat, so during the colder winter months, they can also help cut down on cold weather induced asthma. Not many people have their windows open this time of year but think about replacing your HVAC filter. This can help to keep dust and pollen levels down in the home. Check with your allergist or doctor. If you've skipped by some preventative measures and find yourself feeling miserable, your doctor can help. From allergy shots to antihistamines, there are a variety of treatments available to help get you feeling better sooner.

For more information of juniper pollen.

Author: K. Gilmore

Posted by kevvyg on Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Well yesterday I had written a very nice, long post about winter time allergies, but alas, technology was not kind to me at all yesterday. So here is take two.

Over the last couple of weeks, it has become increasingly apparent that the calendar has clearly forgot to tell the weather that winter doesn't officially start for a couple more weeks. Snow Sends People Inside... Unless You're TenWith all but six states in the U.S. having snow on the ground, it is a safe bet that there are a lot more people spending time indoors. During this time of year, it is actually common for people to experience worse allergy and asthma symptoms. Though most offending plants are dead or nearly dead, mold spore counts can be high from decaying fall foliage, cold weather induced asthma ramps up, and lower humidity inside your home can mean more dust. Because most modern homes are very tightly sealed, indoor pollutants and allergens build, so for some, the more time you spend indoors, the worse your allergies seem to get. Keeping all of this in mind, here are some top-to-bottom tips to get your home allergy ready for winter.
  • Furnace Filters - Starting in most people's basement, the furnace or HVAC filter is often the first line of defense against dust and other indoor allergens. Ductwork can be a hotbed for dust, pollen and microbes, and firing up the furnace for the first time can flush all of this out into the air you breathe. Traditional furnace filters should be changed at least every three months. Generally by this point, they've filtered all they can really hold and are likely seriously impeding air flow. If you have a permanent or semi-permanent filter, like a Permatron, now is a good time to rinse/wash it. Either way, cleaning or replacing your furnace filter is a good first step in reducing indoor allergens.

  • Laundry - Do you use any sort of anti-allergen detergents or laundry additives? It is a good idea to stock up. Things like wearing layers, having family visit/stay with you, and unpacking winter clothes or winter bedding can all contribute to a lot more laundry. And for those things that may have been in storage, like your winter comforter or favorite "ugly sweater," Washing them before you first use is always a good way to get rid of any dust or odor they may have picked up.

  • Fireplace or Burning Wood - Though I'm not sure how many people still grow up like I did, primarily heating your home with wood, wood burners and fireplaces can quickly foul up the air in a house. From not properly managing the draft and flue to simply needing to have the chimney cleaned, there can be a variety of causes of this. A mask with carbon and air purifiers can help with some of this, particularly when you're starting or stoking a fire.

  • Replacing Air Purifier Filters - The times when you need to replace your air purifier filters will vary. Some filters last years, like an Austin Air filter, while other may only last you a couple months, like 3M Filtrete filter. For air purifiers to keep your indoor air clean, overlooking filter replacement can present a serious roadblock. Check your user's manual, or if it's a model you've purchased from us, check out site to see when you need to replace the filter. Keeping your HEPA filter current can really help in reducing allergens in your bedroom and throughout your home.

  • Pets - As you spend more time indoors, so to do your pets. This can mean more hair, more dander, and more sneezing! Regular baths help, but bathing too frequently can cause more problems than what you solve. Humidity levels are generally lower during the winter, so more frequent baths can strip away the oils that your pet produces to keep its skin and fur healthy as well as lead to things like doggie-dandruff and lot of itching and scratching. In between baths, things like pet wipes and AllerPet can really make a difference. AllerPet denatures the proteins found in dander to neutralize these allergens without bathing. Pet wipes are a quick and handy way to cleanse away loose pet hair and dander from your pet's winter coat. And don't forget to brush! Winter coats are often thicker, and this can mean more pet hair floating around your home.

  • Extra Mattress or Duvet Covers are Handy for PetsBedding - Many of us put our winter clothing and bedding away when spring rolls around, and when you dig it out for winter, it can sometimes be dusty, have an odor, or best of all, have critters! For bedding and clothing that's been stored away, washing it before you use it can be very helpful. Comforters and blankets, in particular, can be hotbeds for dust mites, so once through the washer and dryer (with hot water and at high heat, respectively) can go a long way in keeping allergens out of your bed. Additionally, if you're like me and enjoy having a foot warmer during winter, (also known as my dog) an extra dust mite mattress or duvet cover simply thrown over your bedding can block the dander and the pet hair that your furry friends often carries.

  • Vacuum - If you have a replaceable HEPA filter, when was the last time you checked it? Generally about one year is all the use you get from a vacuum HEPA filter, and often if you are noticing odor when you are vacuuming it can be because you need to replace the filter or the dust bag. Replacing these components at regular intervals can not only keep the surfaces and the air in your home cleaner (provided you have a sealed system, certified HEPA vacuum), but also reduce strain on the motor and keep this handy home appliance performing at its best.

Now, there are more things you can do to reduce winter time allergens, like using a home humidifier to keep the relative humidity comfortable (also helps to keep airborne dust levels down), but these are a good place to start. If you want to sum this up, winter time is basically a really good time to check up on and maintain the things in your home that reduce indoor allergens. By keeping them in good working order, they can each do their job effectively and help to make your time indoors easier.

Author: KevvyG

Posted by kevvyg on Thursday, January 05, 2012
Pile of Leaves Missing Its Winter CoatThis winter has been an odd one for many parts of the U.S. Unlike last year when Atlanta experienced several inches of snow and colder than average temperatures, this past December was punctuated by nearly a weeks worth of temperatures in the 70’s - literally 20 degrees warmer than average! This pattern has not just held true here in the South, but all over the U.S.

Aside from ski resorts having to make more snow than usual, another effect of these warmer than average temperatures is an increase in mold allergies this winter. Normally, cold temperatures and snow stunt mold growth. So in places where rotting fall foliage produces massive amounts of mold spores, snow usually stops the growth and blankets the spores. But with little to no snowfall, mold sources are foregoing their usual pattern of winter hibernation.

While mold is more prevalent, the warmer temps generally mean people are not spending as much time as they normally do indoors. The combination of these two factors has led to many allergists seeing an increase in the number of patients coming in during what are traditionally slower months.

Luckily, there are several effective ways to reduce your likelihood of having to visit the allergist with the best solution being nasal irrigation. It does not matter what type of irrigation that you use (bottle, neti pot, pulsing irrigator) since all will rinse away allergens, like mold spores, that can accumulate in your nasal passages.

By rinsing in the morning and evening you can not only wash away allergens that cause sneezing, watery eyes and other symptoms, but irrigating during the winter months is also a great way to combat the symptoms of low indoor humidity. For an economical solution, try a bottle rinse kit or neti pot. For those looking for a more versatile product with expanded features, the Sinupulse Nasal Irrigator can be a great choice.

Author: KevvyG

Posted by Shifrah on Monday, December 05, 2011

Winter is a time when allergens tend to build up in record amounts in your home. People and pets spend more time indoors, and homes are sealed tight against the elements. In addition, forced air heating systems make nasal and respiratory passages particularly susceptible to allergy symptoms and complications like sinus infections.

This is why allergy sufferers must pay special attention to their cleaning routines during winter months. Getting rid of the excess of dust mite allergen, mold spores, pet dander and other allergens that tend to build up during this time of year can prevent excessive winter allergy attacks.

Vacuuming is a mainstay of any cleaning regimen, and of course of an allergy avoidance cleaning routine. Following are some vacuuming tips to help you get the most benefit from the time you spend cleaning:

Vacuum top to bottom. Using your machine to dust prevents you from stirring up dust into your breathing zone. Use attachments to dust items like blinds and bookshelves. Starting at the "top" of a room ensures that dust that the vacuum doesn't catch will get cleaned up as you move to the bottom of the room.
Vacuum in several directions. As tempting as it may be to form straight horizontal lines in your carpet, save this for the end. Vacuuming in varied directions ensures that the carpet pile is moved around enough to suck up the maximum amount of dirt and allergens.
Vacuum in short, slow strokes. Don't push and pull the vacuum fast. Instead, use slow strokes so that the suction spends time over each area of your carpet. Short strokes rather than long ones accomplish the same objective.
Invest in a quality HEPA vacuum cleaner that you enjoy using. If enjoying vacuuming is a stretch, just consider making vacuuming as little of a pain as possible – so that you are more likely to do it as often as possible. Features like the Dyson ball make twisting and turning as you vacuum a breeze. Miele vacuums actually purify the air as well as the best air purifiers while you vacuum, and the new line of mid-range machines make these Cadillacs of vacuum cleaners more affordable than ever.


Page: 1 of 1

* Sign Up For Monthly Newsletter to Receive Special Discount *


Air Pollution Masks Allergies Asthma Allergy Bedding Allergy Armor Peanut Allergy Bedbugs Dust Mites Seasonal Allergy Steam Cleaners Humidity Control Mold Mold Prevention Pet Allergies Allergy Pillows Austin Air Neti Pot Nasal Irrigation Allergy Research Allergy Study Tree Nut Allergy Food Allergies Eczema Mattresses Organic Blanket Miele Vacuums Pet Dander Dyson Pet Hair Humidifiers Dehumidifiers IQAir Ladybug Danby VOC's IAQ Blueair Smog Wildfires Electrolux SEBO AllerAir Cigarette Smoke Sinusitis Achoo Newsletter Vacuum Cleaners Air Purifiers Valentine's Day Reliable Steam Mop Aprilaire Dri-Eaz Air-O-Swiss Humidity Pollen Count HEPA Filter Allergy Relief Anaphylaxis Auto Injector Winter Allergies Allergy Friendly Allergy Mask Pollen Mattress Pad Memory Foam New Product Fleas Atlanta How To FAQ Video Nebulizer Formaldehyde Toulene Achoo Promotion Ozone FDA Furnace Filter Ogallala Bedding MCS Hypoallergenic Down Tobacco Smoke Whirlpool ragweed Asthma Drug RZ Mask Organic Bedding Respro Better Sleep Immunotherapy Genetically Modified Environmental Control Sunscreen Vanicream BPA Phthalates Feminine Health Ask An Allergist Stadler Form Crane Humidifiers Antimicrobial COPD Recipes EcoDiscoveries Baby Allergy Products Santa Fe Dehumidifiers Vaping SLIT Vogmask
Shop Items On Sale At AchooAllergy.com