Freeze kills pollen for rest of 2020; some allergens still around in winter months

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ST. LOUIS – Forest Park was bustling Wednesday afternoon thanks to an unseasonably warm, beautiful November day.

“You can’t ask for anything better, right?” park visitor Mike Applebaum said. “Today we are checking out the city. This is a beautiful park really; it’s a treasure.”

The best part? Little worry of the fall chill or allergies; well, mostly.

“You can still have some allergies lingering around, but for the most part it’s over now,” Dr. Joe Burnworth, with SLUCare, said.

Many areas in Missouri saw their first hard freezes of the season in late October or early November. Most of the pollens have been killed, but a few issues lingering around may be the reason you are sneezing.

“The things that you would have to worry about going into winter are the year-round allergens. Things like dust mites, cat and dog dander, cockroaches; there are a lot of other things that are around that we don’t even realize,” Brunworth said.

“Especially in the winter, when we bring out a winter coat that we haven’t worn for several months and there might be dust all over it, and that makes us sneeze when we put on that old sweater.”

There are a few things you can do to help prevent the wintertime coughs and sneezes.

For seasonal clothes, use a plastic cover when storing them away during the off-season. Along with that, washing clothes on high heat once weekly, as well as using hypoallergenic sheets, will help eliminate allergens.

Brunworth said even people without allergies can suffer from non-allergenic rhinitis. This means things like perfumes, air conditioning, and drastic swings in temperatures can still give you those classic allergy symptoms.

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