Many people believe that as the spring and fall seasons wrap, so do their allergies. But the truth is that they are mistaken. While the onslaught of colder weather and freezing temperatures brings an end to seasonal pollen allergies, it doesn’t mean that your environment is free of allergens.

Especially in New York City, winter means that more people are staying indoors to avoid the cold. What many people may not know is that they can be exposed to indoor allergens that are lurking within their home. And, with the holidays around the corner, there are a few common triggers such as Christmas trees or fireplaces that can contribute to those unwanted allergens.

Add to this the fact that winter allergies and the common cold have many similar symptoms and you have the makings of one unpleasant season if you’re an allergy sufferer. But don’t worry! Here are a few tips on what allergens people with allergies should be mindful of this winter.

Dust & Dust mites
What: Microscopic, allergy symptom-inducing dust mites lurk in bedding, mattresses, carpets, and upholstered furniture.

Mold
What: Mold grows in damp environments like basements and bathrooms and can be present both indoors and outdoors. Airborne molds can cause asthma symptoms and allergic rhinitis.

Animal dander
What: All warm-blooded pets, such as cats, dogs, birds, and rodents, have dead skin cells, also known as animal dander. Colder weather usually means that both people and animals are indoors more often. Increased exposure to animal dander can lead to an increase in allergy symptoms. Allergies to pets are caused when a person has a reaction to proteins found in the animal’s saliva, skin cells or urine. The reaction usually occurs when people are exposed to these proteins.

Smoke and Pollutants
What: As mentioned, firewood brought into the home can contain mold spores. Wood burned in a fireplace can release irritating smoke and other airborne pollutants into the home environment, potentially causing allergic rhinitis or asthma symptoms.

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