The winter months are upon us, and while for some that may mean the end of summer allergies, for others, the struggle with allergens is just beginning. South Florida may be known for its summer allergy scourges, but wintertime can be equally as hard on the sinuses. This article will outline some of the most common allergenic entities you can expect to face in Florida during the colder months and offer some tips for winter allergy relief and prevention.
A common allergen throughout the state of Florida, Ragweed thrives in winter and produces the pollen that, at its thickest, might cover your car in a cloud of yellow dust. It’s also known for causing a winter cough that creates a tickling sensation in your throat. This plant prefers aquatic or wetland habitats, making it the ideal fit for Florida’s swampy climate.
Ragweed can cause hay fever, asthma attacks, and a range of symptoms, including scratchy throat, congestion, and coughing, as well as itchy, stinging, and watery eyes. If you change your air filter regularly and keep your house well-vacuumed and dusted, you can usually escape ragweed-related allergies when you’re indoors.
Though Florida temperatures rarely dip cold enough for snow or deep freezing, the winter months can bring enough chill to keep residents inside more often. Consequently, the more time you spend indoors, the more you are exposed to dust, leaving you susceptible to its allergy symptoms. Moving around and unboxing holiday decorations out of storage can stir up accumulated dust. Similarly, turning on the heat for the first time can disturb and distribute dust that settled in the vents from the previous season.
Given Florida’s humidity, mold is a common problem all year. However, spending increased time indoors during winter can exacerbate this issue. While some people suffer from mold allergies that can create severe reactions, such as infections or asthma attacks, mold exposure can still harm those that are less susceptible to acute responses. Cooking can generate an abundance of steam that may aid in the growth of mold. Mold is also common in bathrooms, basements, closets, attics, and other damp areas. Cleaning up any mold or mildew growth as quickly as possible is the best way to prevent mold-related sinus allergy symptoms. Other methods for avoiding mold growth include using dehumidifiers, running ceiling fans, and not opening windows excessively.
Many Floridians deal with pet allergies year-round, but the colder winter months can put pets and their owners in close quarters more often. If this situation occurs to you, there are ways to lessen the impact of a nearby pet allergen. Keep your pet out of your bedroom. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after petting or playing with your pet. Also, bathe your pet at least once a week to keep pet dander at bay.
Get the Allergy Relief You Need
Dealing with winter allergies? South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center is here to help. Our variety of specialized, minimally invasive, and industry-leading procedures are tailored to fit each patient’s particular needs. Call us today at 954-371-1899 to set up a consultation and learn more about the relationship between temperature and allergies.