People looking to survive their first winter allergy season in Utah face a real challenge. There are different allergens in the air that can cause all kinds of issues that range from a simple stuffy nose to headaches and complete fatigue. Allergies are definitely an annoyance that can be treated successfully. Here are seven tips to help survive the winter allergy season in Utah.
Figure out if it’s allergies or a cold
Now more than ever, people want to be sure that what they are experiencing is allergies and not something worse. Some of the symptoms of allergies can look a lot like a cold, with some distinct differences. With allergies, the symptoms come on suddenly. Colds come on more gradually with symptoms progressively getting worse over time. Allergies can persist for weeks or months if one is exposed to the allergen all the time. Colds get better within a couple of weeks. Allergies can also make people more susceptible to upper respiratory infections.
Pinpoint the allergens
Trying to figure out what causes an allergy may feel like attempting to find a needle in a haystack. It could be just pollen, but for people who are always indoors, it could be any number of molds, pet dander, dust mites or moisture bringing in allergens. Simple allergy testing is the best bet to discover what’s going on.
Mitigate the allergens at home
There are ways to help improve indoor allergy issues. Be sure to keep pets out of the bedrooms. Sleeping near animals can overload a person’s system with allergens. Pet dander causes many of the indoor allergies that people experience without them even realizing it. The scratchy throat, constant sniffles and itchy eyes could easily be caused by Fido or Fluffy. Also look for leaks, fix drippy faucets and make sure there are no places where moisture can hide. These dark, moist spots can be a breeding ground for fungi, mold and other spores. Additionally, using fragrance can cause allergic reactions as well. Try to use unscented laundry detergent and avoid fragranced candles.
Take the right allergy meds
Some people need shots to survive the winter allergy season in Utah, others do fine with taking pills a few times a week. Work with a doctor to find the right course of action. Once people have done everything they can to create an allergen free home but they’re still suffering, they need to get help. A doctor can help find the right combination of treatments to ease allergy symptoms. By doing so, people are able to reduce frequency of other illnesses like colds and the flu.
Clean the indoor air filters
Many people can’t remember the last time they changed out the filter in the home furnace or air conditioning unit. It’s important to do this regularly, especially for those who have allergies. Like a good spring cleaning can refresh a home, there are critical cleaning tasks can reduce your allergies inside a home during the winter months.
Clean forced air system vents
This is one of the most important chores for people with indoor allergies. Forced air systems literally blow allergens around the house. They suck in air and push it through pipes and out vents. To mitigate this, regularly dust the vents and have the insides of the air ducts professionally cleaned yearly. Most people never get this done and the dirt and allergen buildup can be a big problem.
Consider wearing a mask as flat surfaces and knickknacks are being dusted. Dust is basically a combination of dirt, allergens and other small particles that get blown around and settle wherever they can. Using a spray cleaner while dusting makes spreading the particles around less likely. Frequent dusting, especially during the winter, can minimize allergic reactions.
Allergies can make it difficult to function. Constant sneezing, itching eyes and even itchy skin make people feel miserable. This misery can make it more difficult to work out regularly and make other beneficial health choices. It’s critical to pinpoint what allergens have the most impact and to mitigate them.