Coping with winter allergies

No matter how severe your winter allergies are, chances are they interfere in some way with your life.

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Easy lifestyle changes can keep you from reaching for tissues all day.

Easy lifestyle changes can keep you from reaching for tissues all day.

PUBLICADO: EST Nov 14, 2013 12:01 am EST

Winter allergies are no fun, but you aren't doomed to suffer until spring rolls around again. While there is no cure for your allergies, easy steps can help provide relief and make you more comfortable when the weather is cold. These tips do not replace medical treatment , so continue taking any allergy medications prescribed by your doctor unless otherwise directed.

Prepárate para el Invierno

Recognizing symptoms

One of the first steps to alleviating your allergy symptoms is to recognize them. Many people mistake allergies for a long-lasting cold or the flu . However, taking cold medications probably won't have much affect on how you feel. You probably have a cough or are sneezing, but you might also have watery eyes, a runny nose, and dark circles under your eyes. In general, you probably won't feel sick , just uncomfortable. Once you're sure you're facing winter allergies, you can seek appropriate treatment options.

Making changes

Making simple changes to your routine is an easy and powerful way to cope with your allergy symptoms all winter long. Because you spend a lot of time indoors during the winter, you're more susceptible to allergens inside your home and workplace. Dust mites, animal dander, mold, and surface dust can exacerbate your symptoms. To counteract this, the experts at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology suggest taking care to keep your home free of common allergens.

Try to keep your pets off your furniture. This helps limit the amount of dander on the couch, your bed, and your favorite chaise lounge. Vacuum and dust your house often to keep mites and pet dander from floating in the air. Wash your sheets in hot water each week to help with winter allergies while you sleep . Likewise, bathe your pets once a week to reduce the amount of dander on their bodies. Use a humidifier to keep the air moist, which can help keep symptoms at bay.

When it's time to drag out your holiday decorations, open the boxes outside since there's likely to be some dust lingering inside. Consider buying an artificial tree instead of a live one--the fake kind carry fewer allergens.

Stress

While stress won't make your winter allergies worse, it can interfere with your immune system function . All the effort that goes into preparing for the holidays might cause you to forget to take your medications regularly. It's important to take some time to relax and recharge. Make sure to schedule in down time during the cold months to allow your body to stay healthy. Eat a well-balanced diet to boost immunity.

No matter how severe your winter allergies are, chances are they interfere in some way with your life. By taking some simple steps , you'll find yourself feeling better in no time. If your symptoms get worse or don't respond to treatment, be sure to let your doctor know.

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