If you’re feeling a bit under the weather this month, it might be your winter allergies. Don’t be fooled, allergies aren’t just a problem in the summer. You might get stuffy after mowing your lawn in the summer, but you can feel just as “icky” after spending a few months cooped up in your home, where allergens are building up.
What to look for
What should you worry about during winter?
“In the winter, most of the allergies that you’re going to suffer from are going to be indoor allergies — mold, cockroaches, dust mites and animal dander,” Joan Lehach, M.D., an allergist and clinical immunologist with a focus on integrative medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, told weather.com.
If you feel like you’ve got a cold that you just can’t kick, it’s probably allergies. If your symptoms stick around for more than nine days, you should talk with a doctor, Lehach says.
Ways to keep winter allergies under control
- Wash your hands frequently
- Wash your pets at least once a month
- Keep your home as dust-free as possible
- Wash your bedding every other week
- Have your vents cleaned when the seasons change
Make healthy changes your diet
Help your body fight the onslaught of allergy symptoms by making healthy choices. Start by getting rid of foods that weaken your immune system, like foods that are prepackaged and processed. Add a dose of immune-boosting foods like fruits and vegetables. Try adding a multivitamin to your routine too.
If you have allergies, over-the-counter medications may provide quick relief. Try an antihistamine or a decongestant to unclog your pipes. If over-the-counter meds won’t work, chat with your doctor about prescription medications like Clarinex or Nasonex. These medications may provide a bigger punch to your allergies than an over-the-counter treatment can.