The snow is falling in a winter wonderland, but the scene is void of magic for people suffering from winter allergies. Cough, stuffy nose, and itchy eyes all mean one thing: winter allergies have arrived. Oh, rats!
Quite literally, rodents and their associated dander, droppings, and smell can heighten symptoms for individuals who are prone to allergies in the colder months of the year.
With HEPA-enabled technology, Air Oasis air purifiers provide needed relief from winter and rodent allergies.
What are Winter Allergies?
Why do specific allergens pop up right as the seasons change? A combination of factors converges to present different allergen irritants at different times of the year. In the winter months, everything from pet dander to increased indoor dust from running a furnace more frequently can increase winter allergy symptoms.
Allergies are caused by the immune system overreacting to typically harmless substances around you. Fall and spring seasonal allergies typically steal the stage since they are more prevalent, but allergens can trigger any time of the year, including winter.
Winter allergies are less likely to be caused by outdoor triggers but instead are commonly triggered by exposure to allergens in your home. As the temperatures drop, we are driven to spend more time indoors each day. As windows are closed, and insulation works to keep the air in, winter effectively seals us into our homes, along with exposure to the triggers that cause allergy symptoms to flare.
The most common winter allergens found inside the home include pet dander, dust, dust mites, mold, cockroaches, and rodents (including dander, droppings, and urine).
Winter Allergy Symptoms
Unfortunately, cold and flu season coinciding with winter allergy season often makes it difficult to differentiate between allergies and the common cold.
Typical winter allergy symptoms include:
- Watery or itchy eyes
- Itchy skin
- Rashes or dry skin
- A runny or stuffy nose
- An itchy or sore throat
- Morning headaches
- Postnasal drip
- Dark circles under the eyes from nasal congestion.
With symptom overlap, following this general rule of thumb can be helpful. If symptoms linger past the 10-day mark, you are most likely experiencing seasonal winter allergies, even if you didn’t know you had them. Symptoms that resolve in under ten days are more likely to result from a common cold or flu.
Rodents Trigger Winter Allergens
If you think your closed windows and old, dusty furnace are the culprits of your winter allergies, you may want to expand your search. Rodent dander and droppings are common triggers for winter allergies.
Whether you suspect cockroaches in your home or have seen the occasional rat or mouse, you can inspect your home by searching for droppings which typically present as flecks or grains the size of a coffee grind.
Mouse Allergen Facts
While mice can be harder to spot, their droppings are much larger, similar to a grain of rice. Whether you notice droppings indicative of cockroaches or mice, you will know you have a rodent infestation you need to deal with–allergies or not.
Mouse allergens can cause individuals prone to winter allergies to develop asthma or rhinitis (also known as hay fever). Most individuals are most sensitive to the physical dander, hair follicles, and urine from mice, but mice allergens can also become airborne in indoor air, causing an occupational health issue in your home.
How to Reduce Winter Allergies
As with any form of allergies, proactive steps can be taken to reduce the presence of symptoms during the winter months.
Controlling and eliminating pet and rodent dander in your home is vital to reducing allergy symptoms. If you believe you may have a cockroach or mice infestation, consider hiring a rodent exterminator. If you have household pets in your home and general dust mites, vacuum, and dust regularly to maintain cleanliness in your home.
In addition to regular, general home cleaning, consider doing a winter deep clean to eliminate the build-up of dust mites and dander in your home.
Using hypoallergenic cleaning products when possible will eliminate adding allergens to surfaces and won’t irritate you while cleaning. Consider using unscented cleaners and detergents, anti-allergen sprays, and dust-trapping cloths.
Clean the Air
Despite your best attempts to clean surfaces and objects in your home from allergy-inducing irritants, the best solution to reducing winter and rodent allergies is to clean your indoor air with a HEPA filter air purifier. HEPA filters remove 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold spores, rodent dander, and other airborne particles. A HEPA air purifier will remove those allergens from the air, preventing them from being distributed throughout your home.
Air Purifiers for Winter Allergies
It’s hard enough when the snow, ice, and cold temperatures drive your family inside for the winter months. Suffering from winter and rodent allergies is not a necessary evil of the coldest months of the year.
With HEPA-enabled air purifiers, Air Oasis offers the solution for clean air this winter. Proven effective against up to 99% of allergens, purifiers like the iAdaptAir® utilize five key technologies to eliminate common contaminants from the air and reduce allergy-causing symptoms. Click here to shop for air purifiers for winter and rodent allergies.