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Winter Allergies & IAQ

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Published on Jan 2, 2014

In many areas, people who suffer from allergies due to pollen get a break during the winter season. Unfortunately, the cold weather's impact on pollen in the air doesn't mean other people still aren't suffering from exposure to other allergens.

Many people suffer from indoor allergies during the cold winter months. Although these indoor allergies are sometimes confused with the common cold, if the condition last for more than 10 days the cause is likely due to allergies and not a cold.

Winter allergy sufferers may feel tired and experience itchy eyes and throat, along with watery and clear nasal secretions that may last for weeks or more and can be intermittent. Those who have instead caught a common winter cold may develop body aches, fever, chills and discolored nasal secretions that are usually gone within a week.

During the cold winter months, homes and buildings typically have their windows shut and the structures heating system tuned on. These conditions can allow for the accumulation of a number of common indoor allergens and forced indoor heating can help to spread these pollutants from room to room. They include:

Mold -- Mold can begin to grow indoors when moisture is added to the environment. This can be caused by water leaks, elevated humidity levels and condensation on walls, windows and cold pipes during the winter months.

Dust Mites -- These microscopic bugs and their waste cause allergic symptoms for many and are frequently found in areas where people sleep.

Pet Allergens -- The fur, dander, saliva and urine of common household pets can cause problems for many allergy sufferers.

In warm regions, the lack of freezing weather means that people who suffer from allergies due to pollen may get little to no relief from their allergies.

These are just a few things to know about winter allergies and indoor air quality issues, to learn more about this or other health and safety, occupational or environmental issues, please visit the websites shown in the video.

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