While spring and fall may cause the most allergies due to pollen, the summer and winter seasons come with their own sets of allergy triggers. Many winter allergy symptoms have to do with a lack of moisture, either in the air of the home or in the body itself.
Following is a winter allergy solution guide that specifically addresses dry air, dry nasal passages, and dry skin.
Humidifiers Help Allergies And More
Humidification is probably the most important winter-specific environmental control measure allergy sufferers can implement to stave off winter allergies. Humidification addresses all three issues mentioned above (dry air, skin, and nasal passages).
Forced-air heating systems the kind found in most American homes dry out indoor air in the winter. Dry air leads to irritated skin, which can exacerbate eczema. Dry air also irritates nasal passages, which can ultimately lead to sinus infections. By returning moisture to the air, humidifiers combat this dryness and help to alleviate the allergy and sinus trouble caused by too-dry air.
Not only do humidifiers help protect against winter allergies, but they also help the air in your home feel warmer during frigid months. This makes occupants more comfortable and helps cut down on heating costs.
Furthermore, humidifiers may be used for natural cold and flu relief all year long. The moisture eases coughs, dry throats, and scratchy noses, especially during nighttime.
Nasal Irrigation Eases Sinus Symptoms
While humidifiers can go a long way in making sure nasal and respiratory passages don't get dry and irritated from dry indoor air, allergy sufferers, particularly those prone to sinus infections, should pay particular attention to moisturizing their nasal passages with products like the SinuPulse Elite Irrigation System, the SinuAir Nasal Wash System, the Grossan HydroPulse, or simple neti pots like the NeilMed NasaFlo Kit or the Narial Nasal Cup Neti Pot.
Nasal irrigation not only moisturizes sensitive nasal passages, it also flushes allergens out of the nose probably the primary way most allergens enter our bodies and trigger an allergic response. Rinsing dust mite allergen, pollen, pet dander, and other tiny particulates that we inhale is quite effective in minimizing allergy symptoms.
Furthermore, just as humidifiers are useful when any member of the family, allergic or not, has a cold or the flu, nasal irrigation products are a helpful addition to any family's medicine cabinet. Using saline solutions to irrigate nasal passages flushes out mucus, thereby easing congestion, sinus pressure, and runny noses.
Moisturizing Soothes Dry Skin, Helps Prevent Eczema Flare Ups
The most simple, natural remedy for mild to moderate eczema is prevention through moisturizing. However, slathering on any old lotion at any time won't necessarily provide relief. Eczema sufferers must take care when they moisturize and with what.
The basic concept of effective moisturizing involves locking moisture in. Hence, moisturizing when the skin is damp from hand-washing or a shower or bath will make the greatest difference in terms of keeping skin supple and elastic the hallmarks of well-moisturized skin.
Secondly, lotions used for moisturizing should be as natural as possible. Chemicals, preservatives, dyes, and fragrances found in many lotions or moisturizing products can actually cause skin more harm than good, and irritating sensitive, eczema-prone skin is never a good idea.
Choose products specially formulated for sensitive skin, such as Vanicream Skin Cream or Lite Lotion for routine moisturizing, Vanicream Vaniply Ointment for particularly sensitive skin, or Vanicream Robathol Bath Oil for use in the shower or bath itself.
Taking steps to humidify your home and moisturize your nasal passages and skin this winter will help prevent allergy flare ups, keeping you breathing better all season long.