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Allergy Specialist Of Knoxville

Winter Allergies

It’s Winter – Can I Still Have Allergies?

It’s winter, but are you still congested with drainage and sore throat?

People generally associate allergies with spring and fall since winter forces us to spend time inside. However, while our homes are well insulated to limit drafts, it also seals us with the indoor allergens.

No matter how often we clean, these are the common indoor allergens

  • Pet dander
  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Cockroaches
  • Mice

The trigger for each person varies depending on your sensitization.

For example, when exposed to pet dander constantly, your body may recognize it as a foreign object and makes antibodies against the allergens. The next time your body sees the allergen, it sends signals to the cells in you eyes, nose, lungs, and skin to release different mediators which make you itch, sneeze, water and become congested.

Allergists/immunologists can help you identify the allergens important for your symptoms by doing skin testing. Skin testing can be done by prick testing, which is very superficial on top of your skin, or it can be done by conducting a blood test. Identifying triggers can help better manage your care.

What Are the Major Indoor Allergens?

  1. Dust in our homes is a collection of different allergens that can vary depending on the pets in your home. But dust mites and mold are present in all indoor environments.
  2. Dust mites feed on skin cells and dander and are present in your carpets, bedding, furniture, etc.
  3. Mold thrives in damp, moist areas like bathrooms
  4. Pets tend to have thicker coats in winter and spend more time indoors and their dander gets into furniture, clothes, and carpets.
  5. Cockroaches and mice are MAJOR indoor allergens

How Can  Decrease My Exposure to Indoor Allergens?

  1. Vacuum and dust on a regular basis
  2. Change HVAC indoor filters regularly
  3. Limit pets from bedrooms
  4. Wash linens frequently
  5. Consider hypoallergenic covers for mattress and pillows
  6. Address any damp areas in the home along with pest issues


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