Tags: how to relieve | indoor | winter | allergies

How to Relieve Indoor Winter Allergies

Thursday, 25 Feb 2010 08:41 AM

Cold winter weather keeps us indoors, and that can mean more allergy problems. Gas fumes, household sprays, indoor mold, and pet dander can all trigger wheezing and runny noses.

"You don't have any pollens in winter," says Douglas H. Jones, MD, of the Rocky Mountain Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Group in Layton, Utah. "But you still have the indoor stuff — cats, dogs, cockroach droppings, dust mites, and mold," he told Everyday Health.

Use these tips to cut your winter allergy woes:

• Keep rooms thoroughly dusted and vacuumed to cut down on dust mites and pet hair. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and change filters according to manufacturers' suggestions.

• Replace furnace filters every two to three months and use high-efficiency air filters to remove the maximum amount of allergens.

• Use a humidifier to reduce dry air. Don't go overboard, though, and make the air too humid, which encourages mold and dust mites. Experts recommend a maximum humidity of 50 percent. Change the water and clean the humidifier regularly to discourage the growth of bacteria and mold.

• Bathe pets once a week to minimize dander, and keep them out of the bedroom if you have allergies.

• Wash sheets weekly in hot water to kill dust mites and consider hypoallergenic cases for pillows, mattresses, and box springs.

• Wear a dust mask when cleaning.

• Beware of gas stoves, warns National Jewish Health. They release nitrogen oxides into the air that can irritate the lungs, especially in those with asthma or other lung problems.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, between 40 and 50 million Americans suffer from allergies.

© HealthDay

 
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Cold winter weather keeps us indoors, and that can mean more allergy problems.
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2010-41-25
Thursday, 25 Feb 2010 08:41 AM
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