CLEVELAND — If you've been coughing, sneezing and itching your eyes, you may not have a cold. It could be winter allergies.
Even though the pollen is gone and the temperatures have dropped, winter allergies can still plague thousands of people every year.
Dr. Sandra Hong, an allergy doctor with the Cleveland Clinic, said dust mites, mold pet dander and cockroach droppings can trigger your symptoms and make your allergies worse.
"Very frequently, it'll feel like a cold but truthfully I think there is less sneezing," Dr. Hong said. "It will be the cold that just does not end."
Dr. Hong suggested washing pets once a week, covering pillows and mattresses and dust mite covers and cleaning damp areas of your home often. She said if you're choosing to run a humidifier to help with the dry air, be careful.
"The only problem is if you don't keep control with how much humidity you're putting into your home, you can cause these dust mites and mold to grow," Dr. Hong said. "So you'll want to buy one where you can monitor the amount of humidity you're putting out. You'll want it below 50%."
For parents with children in bunk beds, she also suggested covering their mattresses and box springs with dust mite covers as well as switching who sleeps on the bottom bunk.
"You don't want dust mites falling on them all night long, so it's important to get them on the top bunk," Dr. Hong said.