Winter months can be rough for people who are allergic to mold spores and dust mites, and holiday decorations may contribute to the problem.
“During the winter, families spend more time indoors, exposing allergic individuals to allergens and irritants like dust mites, pet dander, smoke, household sprays and chemicals, and gas fumes — any of which can make their lives miserable,” Dr. William Reisacher, director of the Allergy Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, said in a medical center news release.
If you know what’s causing your winter allergies, you can help prevent them.
One way to prevent a winter allergy flare-up is to keep holiday decorations mold-free.
“Mold spores can cause additional problems compared to pollen allergy because mold grows anywhere and needs little more than moisture and oxygen to thrive,” said Dr. Rachel Miller, director of allergy and immunology at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, which is part of the medical center.
Pesticides in produce and drinking water may be playing a role in the increasing prevalence of food allergies, according to a new study. Researchers looked at 2,211 people and found those in the top 25% for urine concentrations of chemical dichlorophenols – used to chlorinate tap water and keep pests off produce – were also 80% more likely to have a food allergy.
“Adults can develop food allergies even though they’re not kids anymore,” says allergist and study author Dr. Elina Jerschow. “Adult allergies to foods are on the rise. That certainly includes shellfish and fish allergies, but also peanuts. We don’t know what influences this development. But having been exposed to dichlorophenols in our study suggests there could be some link.”Researchers believe dichlorophenols may alter the composition of healthy bacteria growing in the human gut, which plays an active role in immune system functioning. Read more about the study detailing the link between pesticides and allergies.
Most people think of spring as the main allergy season, but fall can be terrible too, especially with the hotter than normal temperatures much of the country is experiencing.
Do you have a cold or is it fall allergies? Experiencing symptoms such as sneezing, sniffles, trouble sleeping, and itchy skin, eyes, nose, or throat? What can you do about fall allergy season? The first step is education and the second step is prevention. You need to be educated on what causes the autumnal allergies. Here are the 3 most common allergy triggers:
Now to prevent experiencing allergic reactions based on the top triggers, do the following:
Ragweed: If possible avoid being outdoors from 5am-10am on hot, dry windy days. If you must be outside, wear a mask. Don’t worry they are very stylish – more so than a runny nose and red, irritated eyes anyway! The ragweed count in the air is highest at this time. No ragweed in your area? Beware – it can travel up to 400 miles through the air from the location of the actual plant.
Ragweed allergies are common from mid-August through the end of November
Dust Mites: Wash your sheets! I know your mom has told you this many times, but really, it could actually improve your daily well-being. Remove and/or clean anything that just sits there: stuffed animals (I know they have sentimental value…), artwork, curtains, carpet, etc and definitely get some dust mite covers. These are low-cost and worth it.
A dust mite cover is the simplest way to prevent dust mite allergies
Mold: Guess what? Mold spores all over fallen leaves. If you have leaves in your yard, you or your family may be suffering. This is especially common for kids who love to play in the leaves.
As pretty as these fall leaves are, they can cause allergic reactions!
If you’re not sure if you have a cold or allergies, it would be wise to consider getting tested. You can get tested at your doctor’s office or you can order a simple allergy test at home.