Winter Allergies or a Cold?

Wind, overcast skies, frigid temperatures. Isn’t winter pleasant? I find myself about once a winter saying something along the lines of, “At least it’s not allergy season… Now I just have to shake this awful cold.” Then I realize my cold hasn’t gone away. One week passes… then two… then three. What’s up? Here’s some ways to tell the difference between a common cold and winter allergies (that you may not have known existed.) If your symptoms are indeed allergy related, I’ll give you some helpful tips that will hopefully find you some relief.

Since pollen isn’t as present during wintertime compared to spring, people tend to assume that the symptoms they’re experiencing are cold related. Believe it or not, some of the most common allergies are to indoor things. Dust mites, mold, animal dander, holiday greenery, and wood-burning fire places are just a few. Since people tend to be indoors during the winter more so than other seasons, allergies can actually be more common in the winter than you’d think.

Although symptoms of allergies and colds overlap, there’s a common theme as to which symptoms usually belong to which. With allergies, it’s more common to experience itchy eyes, ears, and the back of your throat. With a sickness, you’ll be more likely to experience body aches, fever, and fatigue. Unfortunately, coughing and sneezing occur in both. Another important factor to consider is duration. With a cold, you start to feel under the weather, then the cold comes out, you gradually feel better, and then the symptoms completely go away. With allergies, the symptoms may gradually get better and then worse again, but they never fully go away for weeks at a time.

How to minimize winter allergens in your home

1. Dust mites live in bedding, upholstery, and carpet. Vacuum your upholstery and carpet once or twice a week and wash your bedding in hot water. Pay special attention to your bedroom, since a lot of your time is spent there. Have your mattress professionally cleaned along with your carpet and upholstery to ensure that the allergens in your home aren’t building up.

2. Remove visible mold around your home with a bleach solution. Common places for mold to grow are damp surfaces such as shower curtains, bathroom floors, around faucets, and the surrounding area around your water tank.

3. If you celebrate Christmas, consider assembling an artificial Christmas tree next season instead of buying a real one. Some people are allergic to pine trees and aren’t even aware of it!

4. As for pets, if you have one, try your best to keep them out of your bedroom and off your furniture. In addition to maintaining a clean environment, look into buying a HEPA air filter. HEPA air filters remove pollutants and allergens from the air that passes through it. Certain vacuums also have a HEPA air filter system as well.

5. Finally, have your air ducts professionally cleaned. This is super important! Air ducts should be professionally cleaned every 5 to 8 years. Over time, the buildup of pet dander, dead skin cells, dust, and dirt can significantly provoke allergy symptoms if it’s doesn’t get cleaned. Take a look at this picture…

If you think you have indoor allergies after reading this, there are plenty of over-the-counter products you can try to help ease your symptoms as well. Antihistamines, decongestants, and steroid nasal sprays all seem to be the most effective. Make sure to read the directions and use as directed.

I hope this information was helpful to you! Call Ayoub Carpet Service today to schedule your carpet, rug, or upholstery cleaning. We are now offering Air Duct cleaning as well. Ask a customer service rep about it when you call in! We look forward to helping you out.

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