Winter allergies are here - KCTV5

Winter allergies are here

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KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

Spring's over, summer's done, but health experts warn people to not put away the allergy medicines just yet because another allergy season has arrived.

Many think that allergies go away when the weather gets colder and there's less pollen floating around, but health officials say there are just as many problems inside a home that can spark allergies when people are shut in all winter long.

Jessica Stine knows all too well that her allergies don't take a couple of months off.

"There are days where I'm so congested that I just want to take some medicine and go to bed and kind of sleep through it," she said.

Dr. Selina Gierer at the University of Kansas Hospital said, in cold-weather months, indoor allergies flare up from dust mites and pet dander.

"Keep the pet out of the bedroom because that's where you spend seven, eight hours a night, particularly keeping your pet off your bed," Gierer said.

There are more simple steps to allergy-proofing a home. Vacuum at least once a week and use one with a HEPA filter for killing dust and dander.

"For dust mite-sensitive people, we ask them to change their bedding, their sheets, their comforters, to wash them weekly in hot water and a hot dryer," Gierer said.

Once the furnace starts running, people are advised to change the filters every month.

Next on the winter allergy list is mold.

"Patients are sensitive to mold that is even on the shower wall, in their basement, but also that's floating through the air," Gierer said.

When people run the shower, they are advised to turn on an exhaust fan to clear the air and beware of humidifiers.

"Unfortunately they can have mold, especially in the filter, if it's not cleaned appropriately," the doctor said.

All of the things people have to watch for could cause a sense of paranoia.

"I'll get out the bleach, or get out just cleaning products and be like, ‘I probably need to clean all this,' start cleaning floorboards, seeing other things, or checking my filter again," Stine said.

And no matter what people do, they will never be able to completely shake the unwanted house guests altogether.

"Even if your house is clean, you still have dust mites," Gierer said.

And people with winter allergies are still likely to wind up visiting their doctor sometime.

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