Preparing for Winter Allergy Relief Tips


As the leaves change colors and the temperature drops, springtime tree pollen becomes scarce, but ragweed season lasts throughout autumn, and winter will usher in additional problems for allergy and asthma sufferers. Allergy sufferers sensitive to pollen, mold, dust, and pet dander may significantly decrease their symptoms and sometimes eliminate them altogether through allergen avoidance. Successful avoidance of airborne particles requires one to carefully monitor and control indoor air quality.

Winter, however, presents unique indoor air quality challenges. When outdoor air gets colder, people seal up their energy-efficient homes, trapping allergens and other pollutants inside. You can keep your air fresh and clean with a quality air purifier and furnace filters. Frequent vacuuming with a HEPA vacuum cleaner also helps rid the air of allergens, especially when done in conjunction with the use of a spray or powder that denatures allergenic proteins. Other easy, effective methods of allergen avoidance include frequent cleaning, dusting, and laundering. (Note that standard home laundry practices wont kill dust mites, but special anti-allergenic laundry detergents and anti-allergenic laundry additives will denature the allergens.) If you eliminate the airborne particles causing your allergic reactions, then you will experience allergy relief.

Burning wood can also release allergens and toxins. To learn more about the medical hazards of wood smoke, visit Burning Issues, a nonprofit educational site from Clean Air Revival. One allergy sufferer commented, "The Austin Air Healthmate Jr. with its pre-filter has been a life saver for me, living in a neighborhood where many residents burn wood for heat and, during the night hours, the smoke collects and sometimes infiltrates my bedroom. Without my Austin Air, I would never get a good night's sleep during the heating season."

While mold and dust mites thrive in hot, humid air, the cold, dry air of winter may spur sinus problems and asthma attacks. Winter air can dry out the sinuses, robbing them of the moisture that allows mucus to trap pathogens and particles. Dry air, therefore, often leads to sinus infections, congestion, headaches, and other sinus symptoms.

To reverse dry indoor air conditions, monitor the relative humidity with a humidity gauge and use a warm mist humidifier to add moisture to the air. Be aware that some humidifiers can become breeding grounds for microorganisms. Use an antimicrobial humidifier to avoid a buildup of microbes. If you cannot avoid dry air, you'll find sinus relief with and sinus irrigations kits.

If you have asthma, you should know that cold air can trigger an asthma attack. When cold air makes it to the lungs, it triggers a release of histamine, which causes wheezing among people with asthma or sensitive lungs. Avoid directly inhaling cold air by wearing a cold weather mask.

Allergy sufferers should pay special attention to the air quality in their bedroom since that's where they spend approximately a third of their life. Even during the winter, the moisture and warmth from the human body makes mattress and pillow fibers the ideal environment for dust mites . . . and dead human skin provides the ideal sustenance for dust mites. Allergy relief bedding and dust mite encasings will solve the problem. Dust mite encasings serve as a barrier, separating dust mites from their food source: you.

For further protection against dust mites, frequently wash bedding, including those bulky blankets and comforters. Vellux blankets not only withstand frequent washings, but they're hypoallergenic, affordable, and dreamily soft. People with dust mite allergy should avoid down comforters and opt for hypoallergenic down or a luxurious down alternative. Those with chemical sensitivities should sleep with organic bedding and organic blankets.

Winter can be a miserable time for people who suffer from allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivities, or sinus problems, but you now can avoid allergy symptoms by arming yourself with knowledge about allergen avoidance and quality allergy relief products.

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