Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter allergies and how to deal with them

Seasonal allergies affect approximately 20 million people in the United States. For most people, the fall and winter seasons offer relief from the condition, but that is not to say winter allergies don’t exist.

Perennial allergies can be felt year-round, but are often stronger in the fall/winter seasons. Why? Because they are triggered by what’s indoors, which is where people tend to stay when the weather is cooler.

Here are some common causes of allergies:

Dust Mites – Microscopic bugs that feed on animal and plant particles. The droppings they produce contain certain proteins that cause allergy and asthma symptoms. Dust mites are found throughout the house, most commonly in areas where human dander is found like the bedroom, bathroom, or common spaces.

Mildew/mold – Produce spores that cause allergies. Mold or mildew is most commonly found in humid or moist areas like bathrooms, basements, kitchens, and water-damaged areas.

Pets – It is a common misconception that animal fur causes allergies. While a pet can cause your allergies to persist, the actual allergen comes from proteins in the animal’s dander and saliva. In certain pets such as hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits, the proteins are released through urine.

As we come in to our fall season, here are a few helpful hints to prepare and prevent the winter allergy blues:

Air out your house and bedroom periodically
Dust frequently
Wash your rugs and bedding frequently
Keep an eye out for mold or mildew. If you smell it or see it, call a professional to have it removed
Vacuum or sweep up pet hair frequently as this carries the dander
Consult your doctor for allergy medication

Also, September is National Courtesy Month! Lend a hand to a needy neighbor, hold a door for a stranger, or simply smile at a new face, you never know, you might make a new friend!

Article found here..

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