Ways to combat winter allergies

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We often think of allergies as an issue for warmer months, but certain allergens can you make itch and sneeze from now until February. (WPVI)

We often think of allergies as an issue for warmer months, but certain allergens can you make itch and sneeze from now until February.

Dr. Kathleen Sheerin from the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic says winter is absolutely a time to think about your allergies.

"Springtime when all of the trees are blooming, it makes a lot of press, but it's snowing outside and people are miserable," she said.

Sheerin says the culprits are not your typical tree pollens, but indoor allergens like dust mites and pet dander.

"If you spend more time inside, then you're going to have more exposure to your pets during the winter season," she said.

But fear not, regardless of the trigger, the symptoms and the treatments are still the same.

"You can have itchy eyes, itchy throat, itchy nose, a lot of people do this - we call that the allergic salute. Runny sneezy, congestion and those are the basic allergy symptoms," said Dr. Sheerin.

For dust mites, covering up is the best plan.

"Covers on the mattress, pillow, boxspring, are available online, in all of the linen type stores, and can really make a difference if you're allergic to the dust mites. Washing in hot water also helps," said Dr. Sheerin.

For pet allergies, keep pets off the furniture and wash them often.

And as always, there are medications that can help.
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