Staying indoors this time of year could trigger winter allergies

This is the time of year when allergies are even more maddening

NORWALK, Conn. (WTNH) – This is the time of year for winter allergies.

Allergies are generally associated with being outdoors but being inside can also lead to symptoms of sneezing, a runny/itchy nose and wheezing.

What’s lurking inside your home can trigger a heightened sense of symptoms. This is the time of year when allergies are even more maddening for China Perez-Brown, “I notice my eyes get itchier a lot faster.”

Yes, winter allergies are real. “They totally exist. It’s a dirty little secret but its out there,” said Dr. Robert Weiss, Director of the CT Center for Advanced ENT Care.

He stressed, “You gotta think of your house as a bubble and we’ve just closed all the doors and all the windows, so you are trapping all the things that you could be allergic to into that air system.”

Dust, mold and dander from family pets like Clementine can elicit allergic responses. Dr. Weiss prescribes sensible steps you can take, “If you are allergic to your pet, you don’t want your pet sleeping in the bedroom with you.”

Also, encase pillows and mattresses from dust mites, and get rid of stuff animals, carpets and drapes. For some, a Christmas tree is a problem. “You’ve got a live tree, ” he said and explains, “It’s usually covered in some form of mold and there’s microbes in the soil. There’s dust.”

It is an irritant for China. She said, “I’m not 100% sure I won’t have a Christmas tree, it might mean I’ll prepare for it a little more.”

Dr. Weiss said stay away from flowering plants but non-flowering ones can be helpful for allergy sufferers, “There’s been some studies that show that some houseplants actually help filter the air and humidify the air.”

How do you know if you have a cold or an allergy? “Winter allergies tend to be more prolonged. A cold is suppose to last five to seven days,” said Dr. Weiss.

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