After the first frost of the year, most outdoor inhalant allergies go away. Pollens and mold spore production shuts down. However, there are still some allergens that can cause problems.
Cold weather means more time spent indoors and more exposure to perennial allergens such as cockroach dust, house dust mites, pet dander and some mold spores. Those with seasonal and perennial allergies feel better with cold weather, but ongoing allergic stimulation for indoor allergens keeps to allergy fire smoldering. Symptoms are sneakier, with less sneezing and more congestion and drainage. In fact, the symptoms can mimic a sinus infection.
identified and repaired, which should help. Much of the mold indoors comes in from outside when we open doors each day.
Other allergen avoidance is more difficult for some to implement. For example, dust mite prevention reduces but seldom eliminates exposure (from bedding, carpeting, upholstered furniture, etc). Some families are unable or unwilling to part with pets or keep them out of the bedroom at night.
Two other simple tips:
- Since indoor allergies are sneaky, it is doubly important to take recommended medications regularly. Most persons with significant nasal allergies do quite well on prescription intra-nasal steroid sprays. Used each day, these
medications are safe and effective. Used as needed, they do not work very well.
- The FDA approved a nasal steroid spray for over-the-counter (non-prescription) sales in the spring of 2014 Nasacort AQ (triamcinolone acetonide). Salt water rinses of the nose (using a Neti Pot or other devices) are convenient and inexpensive.