Allergy season can start as early as January and last well beyond the fall. If you suffer from pollen allergies the cold weather might give a long deserved break. However, if you suffer from mold and dust mite allergies winter is the beginning of a very long 89-day period. Add seasonal allergies to the mix and you could be looking at a prison sentence of itchy eyes, runny nose, and more year-round. So how does weather affect your allergies? Everything from temperature to climate can have an effect on how you feel throughout the year.
Cold weather has been linked to a delay in allergen release but that does not mean you should count their lucky stars just yet. Pollen production may be low during winter but other allergens become more prominent during those times. Cold weather can be a haven for allergens like pet dander. Winter weather increases the time you spend indoors, which increases your exposure to indoor allergens. Despite the cold conditions, allergens from previous seasons could be very alive and well. Viruses that thrive in cold conditions don’t help either since they produce symptoms that mimic some allergic reactions. Some of those viruses are: influenza, rhinovirus, parainfluenza and more.
How does rain make allergy symptoms worse? Rain has been linked to the release of seasonal pollens. On one hand rain can bring relief by reducing pollen counts. On the other, rain has been linked to slowing down the release of pollen. Rain should be a concern for all allergy sufferers. However, depending on what you’re allergic to it may be a God-sent or the signaling of one of the most miserable times of the year. Rainstorms can fracture pollen into smaller particles that get released into the air in higher concentrations resulting in a higher possibility of respiratory symptoms that beckon sufferers to schedule a doctor’s visit. Rain can cause sustained havoc if you are allergic to grass and weed pollen as well. During a rainstorm these pollens are most likely to be fragmented and spread far and wide.
How does hot, humid weather make affect your allergies? Humidity has been primarily linked to one of the most common allergens; mold. Mold create an odor and irritate your sinus. Hot humid weather creates swelling in the nasal cavity, triggering congestion and pressure. Some symptoms of allergies affected by humid weather are watery eyes, sneezing, running nose and more. You can create a hot humid environment for yourself during the winter. During cold snaps and freezing temperatures people are most likely to turn the heater up to stay warm. Heating up your environment past the 70 degree Fahrenheit mark creates the perfect environment for mold to grow. Something as simple as taking a hot shower could stimulate mold growth. Professionals suggest that you turn on your exhaust fan when you take hot showers, keep a window open or get a dehumidifier.
Movies have celebrated dry weather for years. If you’re an allergy sufferer there is a fifty/fifty chance you know better. Dry air causes the mucus in your nose to become sticky. The sticky mucus blocks the sinuses creating congestion and blockages. It is that pressure and congestion that causes the pain and comfortability for allergy sufferers. Dry windy weather is also the perfect breeding ground for mold.
Whatever the weather you can make a difference in your indoor air quality using indoor plants, quality air filters, humidifiers or dehumidifiers and ventilating your home or office properly.