Goodbye Pollen, Hello Dust Mites: Surviving Winter Indoor Allergies

Allergy patients all over Florida are always relieved as the holidays draw near. Due to our climate, November through February are the only months that most pollen or hayfever allergies die down. Unfortunately, many people also have indoor allergies to things like dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens. These allergies can be as bad or worse than the symptoms you experience during the rest of the year.

Just like other allergies, indoor allergens can cause a reaction in some people and not others, and some patients can go years before they have a reaction. If you usually spend your time outside or away from home and are spending more time at home than ever like most Americans, you may be having some allergy symptoms you didn’t notice before.

There are a lot of different allergens that might be causing your symptoms. But regardless of the cause, the treatment of the symptoms is usually about the same. While there are some over-the-counter treatments you can try to get you through the winter, you should schedule allergy testing to find the exact cause of your symptoms when possible.

Over-the-counter medications

You can get different types of antihistamines at your local pharmacy. Most pharmacies now keep these medications behind the counter, but you can still purchase them without a prescription. Some medications are meant to be taken every day, while others are meant to be taken only when symptoms occur. If you have any question about what medication you should take or if you take other medications and need to check interactions, check with your doctor or pharmacist before choosing an allergy medicine.

Nasal sprays and treatments

The netti pot is a very popular treatment for allergies. It flushes the nasal passageways so that they are clear of allergens. This can relieve symptoms for a time and requires nothing more than a special pot, some warm distilled water, and a steady hand. If your primary symptom is nasal congestion or runny nose, you might benefit from medications delivered through nasal sprays. These used to be by prescription only, but you can now buy them over the counter as well.

When symptoms persist

It is generally a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting any new medication, even if you don’t need a prescription. But if you do try OTC medicines first and they fail, you should schedule an appointment with an experienced allergy specialist right away for evaluation and allergy testing. You can schedule an appointment with us anytime.