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Home > Blog > Winter Allergies: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Winter Allergies: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Winter Allergies: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Max Lab

Dec 22, 2023

Allergy is a health condition that occurs when an individual’s immune system starts reacting to a foreign substance that is not harmful otherwise. It is a part of the human body’s defence mechanism and can be triggered by almost anything present in the environment. These elements, known as allergens, can be anything, including dust mites, pets, pollen, insects, ticks, certain food items, and medications as well. Although most of the allergies can occur throughout the year, some of them are more common in specific seasons, hence called seasonal allergies.

What are Winter Allergies?

Winter allergies, as the name suggests, are seasonal allergies that occur in the winter. Since the temperature takes a dip during these months and the days are also relatively shorter, people spend more time in their houses. In such a situation, allergens that are already present in their home can enter the body, leading to an antibody response. Unlike any other seasonal allergy, symptoms of winter allergies are somewhat similar to other health conditions that are common in this season, such as cold, cough, fever, watery eyes, etc. This is the reason why it gets a little difficult to differentiate between an allergic reaction and a common illness like cough and cold.

Generally, these allergic reactions are mild, and their symptoms can go away within a few hours or days. But sometimes these symptoms can get worse and cause a number of complications, such as shortness of breath or conditions like hay fever, etc.

Causes

There are a number of elements that can cause an allergic reaction. Here are a few major causes of some common allergies that occur in the winter season:

Animals: Yes, having pet animals in the house is one of the biggest and most common causes of allergic reactions. However, contrary to common belief, these reactions are not caused by animal fur. Most people are allergic to a protein that is found in pet dander, urine, and saliva.

Mold: Mold spores are one of the most common causes of winter allergies. All they need is a warm and humid environment in order to thrive, such as a basement or bathroom. These fungi can freely float in the air like pollen and can easily enter an individual’s body. They can trigger a number of allergic reactions, causing symptoms like irritation in the eyes and throat.

Dust Mites: Dust mites are microscopic bugs that can be found almost everywhere, from bedding to carpets, couch to floor. Their droppings and remains can become airborne, causing a number of allergy symptoms.

Symptoms

The symptoms of a winter allergy can vary from one individual to another. However, there are a few warning signs that are very common, such as:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Chest congestion
  • Excessive phlegm
  • Skin rashes
  • Low-grade fever
  • Rapid breathing
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Sore throat

Diagnosis

Allergies are very common in every season, including winter, and their symptoms can go away on their own. However, certain allergic reactions can prove to be life-threatening. So, it is always important to watch out for some common warning signs and consult the doctor if they last more than a week. He/she may suggest a blood test for allergy identification, depending on one’s symptoms and medical history.

If the doctor suspects that an allergic reaction is triggered by certain food items, he/she is likely to suggest food allergy testing. Also known as a food intolerance test, this helps to find out if an individual is allergic to a particular food.

Treatment

Most allergic reactions can be easily treated at home, but some of them may require immediate medical attention. The doctor may suggest medicines like antihistamines and decongestants as part of allergy treatment. These medicines can ease the symptoms and give quick relief.

If an individual is experiencing some complications, such as hay fever, the treatment may take a little longer than usual. In such cases, the doctor may suggest immunotherapy that consists of allergy shots or under-the-tongue tablets. This helps to curb the symptoms for a longer period of time than other OTC medicines.

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