Spring and summer aren’t the only seasons that can bring misery to allergy sufferers. People with some allergies often struggle in the winter.
Seven-year-old Jacob Shufro suffers from allergies. He says he is “really allergic to cats and trees.”
Jacob’s 5-year-old brother, Bryce, has allergies as well. Bryce says he’s allergic to dust.
Although most people talk about allergy season as the time when there’s a lot of pollen outside, winter is nothing to sneeze at.
Dust, mold and pets can make things unbearable this time of year.
“As people spend a bit more time in the home, they’re going to begin to see an increase in those kind of year-round allergies,” said Dr. Sebastian Lighvani, New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell.
A Christmas tree could be a big culprit for all that itching and sneezing. Ornaments are often dusty, and researchers say within days trees will send mold spores into the air.
“As the Christmas tree decays, [again] you’re going to get a higher concentration of mold released by that Christmas tree into the home,” said Dr. Lighvani.
Even without a tree, however, allergies can flare when everyone spends more time inside, but there are some things you can do.
Humidity is a breeding ground for mold and mites. Allergy sufferers should use a de-humidifier and an exhaust fan in the kitchen and bathroom.
Keeping pets and their dander out of the bedroom will also help reduce allergy flare-ups.
The Shufro’s take additional steps to control their allergies.
“We change their sheets three times a week,” said Jennifer Shufro. “We have encased their beds, [and] we don’t have carpets in their rooms.”
She also limits the number of stuffed animals, which can carry dust and mites.
It’s a small price to pay in order to breathe a little easier.