How can heaters trigger winter allergies?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Heaters are one of the main reasons for winter allergies. When the furnace turns on, it doesn't just circulate warm air around the house, it spews out all the dust, mold and insect parts that have collected in the heating vents. If left unattended, this problem can lead to an entire season of headaches, sneezing and coughing. The solution is a simple one: heating vent filters should be high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters when possible, and should be changed at least once every 3 months.

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Heaters can trigger winter allergies because it creates congestion and makes the nasal passages very dry. In this video, allergy specialist Tania Elliot, MD, shares some solutions for keeping your nose, nasal passages, and lungs moisturized. 

Dr. Alan M. Young, MD
Family Practitioner

Heaters can trigger winter allergies by lowering the humidity. Dropping the humidity too much can irritate the nasal lining and trigger allergies or worsen allergy symptoms. Burning wood can also trigger allergies.

It’s a good idea to make sure humidity stays neutral in the winter, but not too humid. Using a humidifier can make it too humid, and humidity can trigger growth of mold, which can cause allergy symptoms. Instead, using a nasal spray is recommended.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.