You may think that just because you’re heading off to college in the fall, you’re leaving your summer allergies behind. Unfortunately, you may be wrong. Sufferers often find that winter can be just as bad as spring and summer when it comes to battling allergies. Instead of visiting the student health center, you may want to combat your winter allergies more naturally:
1.Clean, and Clean Again
There is nothing that will combat your winter allergies like a good scrubbing of the surfaces in your environment. Instead of using a duster, clean your dorm room with antibacterial wipes. These wipes will not only kill the bacteria that they come into contact with, but they will trap more dust than any duster can. Make sure that you wipe down everything in your room: light fixtures, table tops, chair legs and anything else that you may see.
While your cleaning, strip your bed and wipe down your mattress if it’s covered in plastic. Take your sheets down to the laundry and wash them in the hottest water possible. Your bedding should be washed and changed at least once a week.
If winter allergies are driving you mad, ask mom and dad for a HEPA air filter for the holidays. Running a HEPA filter in your room will pull dust and allergens from the air, trapping them inside the unit’s filters. You can also do a bit of research and see which houseplants clean the air; if they’ll survive in your dorm room, grab a couple.
Neti pots can take a bit of getting used to; the first few times that you use it, you may end up soaking wet. The good news is that once you’ve gotten the hang of it, your neti pot will be one of the best tools in your arsenal when it comes to fighting winter allergies. Flush out your nasal cavities once in the morning and then again in the evening, after you’ve been outside. Doing this will remove dust, dander and other allergens from the lining inside of your nose.
You don’t have to buy stock in Benadryl to have antihistamines on hand. Natural antihistamines include butterbur and stinging nettle. Either herb can be easily found in your local health food store, and both are excellent at combating allergies. Studies have shown that allergy sufferers who take about 300 mg of stinging nettle or 32 mg of butterbur find relief from their symptoms. You should note, however, that if you have a ragweed allergy, you should avoid butterbur; they are from the same family of plant.
5.Control Your Climate
People with allergies often find that they suffer more when their climate is humid. This is because most bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments. Try to keep your dorm room as low in humidity as you can. You may also want to consider using heating and cooling systems that don’t blow air around your room; these types of systems will cause more dust and dirt particles to fly through your immediate air and, as a result, can exacerbate your allergies.
Don’t assume that your suffering is over just because the weather has turned cooler. If you’re still suffering with your allergy symptoms, you may be dealing with winter allergies. While finding out your exact triggers is always the best idea, you may want to try some of these natural remedies first.
Lewis West writes for higher ed blogs. Are you a nurse, or considering becoming one? If so, Ohio University offers an RN to BSN to MSN path that you may want to check out.