Winter Allergies Got You Down?

5 min read



Winter Allergies Got You Down?

While pollen allergies generally lessen during the winter, other environmental allergies thrive during this season. If you find yourself sneezing and itching your way through the winter months, chances are you’re allergic to something indoors or you live in an area where trees and plants pollinate year-round.

What causes seasonal allergies in winter?

The most common culprits of winter allergies are dust mites, mold spores, mildew, cockroaches, and we’re sad to say it, pet dander.

It might sound obvious but avoiding these triggers as much as possible is the best way to prevent symptoms. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, so we’ve laid out other measures that can be taken below.

Dust mites

True to their name, these very tiny bugs, which are imperceptible to the human eye, live in dust. They can be found on carpets, bedding, curtains, and upholstered furniture and on dead skin cells too. The protein in their droppings is what triggers allergy symptoms.

How can I reduce exposure?

  • Vacuum frequently and wipe down surfaces often
  • Wash your bedding regularly on high heat
  • Invest in hypoallergenic mattress and pillow covers
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the dry winter air. Tip: clean it often to avoid mold and mildew

Pet dander

Dander is the name of the protein that exists on animals' skin, urine, and saliva. Exposure to an animal or their environment (I.e dog and cat hair) will start up your symptoms.

How can I reduce exposure?

  • Keep pets out of the bedroom
  • Bathe them often

Mold spores

Mold is a form of fungi and it exists all around us. It thrives in moist conditions (I.e bathrooms). There are multiple types and you may be allergic to one or more.

How can I reduce exposure?

  • Check outdoor mold spore levels before you leave the house
  • Avoid areas with piles of damp leaves, and shower after coming back indoors.
  • Use a dehumidifier to keep home humidity levels below 60%.
  • Regularly clean your kitchen and bathroom, especially areas that harbor moisture.
  • Keep basement belongings in air-tight, waterproof containers.
  • Replace your air filter as directed.


None of us need an introduction to the cockroach. What people are allergic to, however, is the protein in their saliva, excrement, and body parts. Dead or alive, exposure to this protein can cause allergy symptoms.
Like any other seasonal allergies, the symptoms are the same: congestion, runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, and itchy skin.

How can I reduce exposure?

  • Clean often
  • Utilize pest control

What makes winter allergies worse?

The sheer fact that we all spend much more time indoors with the windows closed exacerbates winter allergies. Dry winter air can also worsen symptoms leading to more itchiness and possibly nose bleeds.

Besides that, there are many cozy winter items we subscribe to as part of the season that contribute to increased symptoms:

🕯️ Candles: Your pumpkin spice or cinnamon candles might smell great, but they can also irritate your nose, eyes, and lungs. Scented candles can emit VOCs that trigger adverse symptoms, so try decorating with flameless candles for a more comfortable winter ambiance.

🛌🏻 Duvets and Pillows: Nothing’s more relaxing than nestling into bed with a warm down comforter and plenty of plush pillows, but allergy symptoms may disrupt your sleep if you don’t care for them properly. Bedding can become home to dust mites and mold spores, triggering allergy symptoms. To reduce these effects, wash your bedding weekly and use dust-mite-proof covers on your mattress and pillows. Controlling the humidity in your bedroom can also help.

🔥 Chimney Smoke: Smoke emitted from wood-burning fireplaces can cause discomfort, inflammation, and worsening nasal and respiratory symptoms. If you notice your symptoms are triggered by wood smoke, opt for a gas fireplace instead.

Is it winter allergies or a cold?

It can be tricky to differentiate between a cold and winter allergies but there are a few key differences between the two.

Runny nose

Fever, chills, aches, and pains are unique to the common cold or flu while itchy eyes and skin are telltale signs of an allergy.
Colds typically subside in under two weeks while allergies rage on as long as there’s exposure.

If you’re not sure, an allergy test and medical consultation can offer answers and a path forward, whether or not you have allergies.

How can I treat seasonal allergies in winter?

Antihistamines, steroid nasal sprays, decongestants, and eye drops are some of the over-the-counter options for taming symptoms. Unfortunately, they are only temporary measures to manage allergies, not long-term solutions.

Allergy immunotherapy is the only allergy treatment that offers lifelong relief. If you’d like to learn more about how it works, read our post here. If you’re ready to pinpoint your exact triggers and start treatment, get started here.

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