Oh Christmas Sneeze? Watch for Winter Allergies!

Winter Allergies

When most people think of seasonal allergies, spring and fall most likely come to mind, as these are the months in which sneezes and sniffles usually reach their peak.

However, around the holiday season, allergies can also worsen — all due to an unlikely culprit that many of us hoist in our living rooms, or the delicious dishes we pass around the table.

Here are a few allergens to watch for this winter, from environmental irritants to foods and additives.

Are You Suffering from These Winter Allergies?

Pollen or Mold

When dry air mixes with windy conditions, cedar pollen easily spreads, exacerbating allergies. You may also unwittingly bring pollen and allergy-causing mold into your home when you cut down your ideal Christmas tree. Research out of Connecticut found that mold counts from live trees rose to 5x the normal level up to two weeks after the tree was brought inside.

To prevent these allergies from getting the best of you, you can opt for an artificial tree (just be sure to fully clean the tree and all its decorations of all dust when you pull it out each year! If you prefer a live tree, be sure to place an air purifier near the tree to lower humidity. Before bringing it inside, hose down the tree and then let it dry completely.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are microscopic pests that pose allergy annoyances year-round. They are particularly pesky around the holidays due to damp air. They can also be a problem in hotel rooms or guest beds.

If you are dealing with dust mites at home, you should regularly check and change your air filters, wash your bedding in the hot cycle twice a month, and always purchase allergen-resistance coverings for mattresses and pillows. A dehumidifier can also help keep indoor air quality at its best, with humidity in the 30-50% range. If you’re traveling for the holidays, experts agree you should bring your own pillow and allergen-proof cover or ask for a down-free pillow.

Peanuts, Sugar, or Wheat

Food allergies can also rear their ugly heads this season, especially if you’re not aware of them! Holiday sweets are chock full of allergens like peanuts, wheat, sugar, chocolate, and more, and at holiday parties, you may not know what ingredients comprise each dish, making it easy to accidentally ingest an allergen.

To cope, we recommend you bring your own allergen-free food to every fete so that you always know there’s food you can eat!

Your Source for KC Allergy Testing

Test Smartly Labs of Overland Park provides a full range of allergy testing spanning inhalants to food allergens. Since allergies can manifest in a number of ways, you should consider allergy testing whenever you experience unexplained symptoms like fatigue, stomach pain, headache, and weight gain.

For more information on our services, call (913) 815-0988 or explore our extensive allergy testing menu online!

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