What Are Winter Allergies?

What Are Winter Allergies?

Do you notice more allergy symptoms even when you’re spending more time indoors?

You may be having winter allergies.

What are winter allergies?

The cold season may give you a break from your pollen allergy but winter may also come with a different set of allergies.

When it’s getting cold and your furnace starts to kick in, it may send some dust mites, mold spores, and insects into the air. Once they get into your nose, it may trigger a reaction and hence, the allergy symptoms.

The Indoor Allergy Triggers

The following are some of the most common indoor allergy triggers:

  • Dust mites
    Usually lurking in furniture, bedding, and carpets, dust mites love warm, damp environments. Their dead bodies and poop can easily get into the household dust.

    Unwashed bedding and indoor heating can both make them worse and send them out into the air. 
  • Mold
    Mold loves dark, moist areas like your bathroom and basement. A damp environment, which could develop as a result of leaky pipes can further promote their growth. 
  • Pet dander
    If you have a pet, then their dander may trigger an allergic response from you.

Do you have allergies or cold?

Allergies and cold produce similar symptoms but are two different things.

An allergy is your immune system’s response to irritants like mold or pet dander while a cold is caused by a virus. 

You are most likely having an allergic reaction if:

  1. Your mucus is clear.
    With an allergic reaction, your mucus is watery or clear and it will stay like that (in contrast to a cold where the mucus will become discolored).
  2. You’ve had the sniffles for more than a week now.
    Cold symptoms like the sniffles usually clear up within a week. If it lasts more than a week, then you are most likely having an allergic reaction.
  3. You’re not having body aches, fever, or cough.
    There are over 200 strains of viruses that can cause colds. Each produces different symptoms, including body aches, cough, and fever. An allergy usually doesn’t cause these.
  4. Your symptoms remain the same.
    If you have the same symptoms day after day, it is most likely an allergy.
    The symptoms are usually intense for the first few days but they often don’t progress to something else.
  5. Your symptoms show up in certain situations or places.
    Allergy symptoms typically occur in certain situations or places (e.g. staying indoors for too long, being in a house with a cat, etc.).Allergy symptoms can ruin your days. So, it’s important to avoid the possible triggers and see a specialist like an ENT find the most appropriate treatment options for you.

Greater Knoxville ENT has specialists who can help you. To request an appointment, you may call us at (865) 244-4396.

 

References:

https://www.m.webmd.com/allergies/sinus-nose-tool/allergies-or-cold

https://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/winter-allergies

 

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