Most people don’t think of allergies as something that happens in the winter, but they do. However, it’s vital to be aware that allergies throughout the winter do provide a few unique challenges. Knowing how to prevent or reduce triggers will help you feel your best throughout the entire winter.
Really, winter allergy symptoms are nothing more than standard seasonal allergy symptoms. You’re more likely to spend more time indoors and expose yourself to indoor allergens during the winter.
What causes winter allergies?
The following are a few of the most typical indoor allergens that can aggravate your wintertime allergies:
- Pet hair
- Dust mites
- Particles of dust in the air
- Cockroach droppings
Preventative treatments are the best method to manage allergy symptoms. However, even if your allergy symptoms are at their worst, you can still find relief.
Symptoms of winter allergies
The following are warning indications of allergy symptoms:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Itchy throat, eyes, and mouth
- Difficulty breathing
- Dry coughing
- Skin rash
- Feeling generally unwell
- Low grade fever
Additionally, severe allergies may result in asthma symptoms that are more bothersome, such as:
- Chest constriction
- Breathing quickly
- Feeling weary
- Feeling anxious
- Whistling when you breathe
How can you tell if your symptoms are due to an allergy, the flu, or a cold? Typically, a cold last no longer than 10 days. Weeks or even months may pass before allergy symptoms fade. Additionally, while allergies rarely cause aches and pains, colds and the flu can occasionally be accompanied by a fever.
Diagnosis of winter allergies
Consult a physician if your symptoms persist for more than a week. An allergist may be recommended to you after they inquire about your medical history and current symptoms.
The allergist may do a skin test in which they inject an allergen just beneath your skin or scrape your skin with a very small amount of an allergen. You are allergic if the area becomes itchy and red. A blood test can also be used to identify some allergies.
Treatment of winter allergies
Winter allergy treatment options include:
- Antihistamines, which lessen itching, sneezing, and congestion
- Decongestants, which remove mucus to reduce edema and congestion
- Immunotherapy, which gradually exposes your body to higher amounts of the allergen, compared to allergy medications, this method can relieve your symptoms for a longer period of time.
Prevention of winter allergies
An allergy cannot be avoided. But if you are aware of your allergy, you can take precautions to prevent a reaction. Follow the following suggestions:
- Moldy flooring, wallpaper, and shower curtains should all be thrown away.
- Showers and sinks should be cleaned with a solution of 5% bleach and a small amount of detergent.
- Use a dehumidifier to keep your home’s humidity level below 50% to help control the growth of mold and dust mites.
- Dust can be removed from the air by using a HEPA air filter.
- Every week, wash your bedding in hot water (130 F).
- Cover pillows, comforters, and mattresses with allergen-resistant materials.
The best options are animals without fur, like fish, if you really want a pet but someone in your home is allergic to pet dander. Don’t let your cat or dog sleep in your bedroom, and bathe it at least once per week if you already have one.
When to seek medical help for winter allergies
Most of the time, allergies are not life-threatening. They might, however, make asthma symptoms worse.
- It is crucial to get in touch with a medical expert if:
- A person’s cold symptoms last longer than two weeks.
- Their allergies become so bad that they interfere with daily life.
- Their infant exhibits any allergy or cold symptoms such as wheezing or breathing difficulties.
- When allergy medication does not work or ceases to work
- A person does not know whether they have allergies or what they are allergic to.
Winter allergies can be uncomfortable since they are typically brought on by indoor triggers that are difficult for sufferers to avoid. This does not imply that a person must accept respiratory difficulties in the winters. Dr. (Prof.) Ameet Kishore, the best ENT Specialist in New Delhi, can assist you with the diagnosis and selection of the best course of treatment.