The winter months can be brutal for people young and old who are sensitive to mold spores and dust mites.

If you have pollen allergies, you may get a break once the weather gets cold. The winter months can be brutal for people old and young who are sensitive to mold spores and dirt mites. During an allergic response, the immune system goes into overdrive when it comes into connection with pollen, mould, and other allergens. It releases a chemical called histamine, which triggers the watery eyes, runny nose, and other tell-tale symptoms of the allergy attack.

Winter weather can indirectly cause both colds and indoor allergies. Colds rise in winter because people spend more time inside, limited to small spaces where viruses and germs can be easily passed around. Also, the viruses which cause colds thrive in low-humidity environments, that are typically found in the cold dry months of winter. Low humidity, coupled with air blowing from indoor heating systems, causes drying of the nasal passages, which could increase susceptibility to infection.

Common Allergens

Several allergens can cause allergies during winter. Common culprits include pets, mildew, mold and dirt mites. When the weather turns cold, people and pets start to stay inside more often. This can increase the amount of pet dander in your house. Activating the heater can cause mildew and mold to circulate through the air vents. Dustmites, which are tiny bugs, feast upon particles, such as human and pet dander. They may also increase in the winter.

Symptoms

The similarities between colds and winter allergy symptoms can make it difficult to inform one issue from the other. Both cause fatigue, headaches and congestion. If you have a cold, the symptoms often occur individually. Winter allergies combine multiple symptoms, contributing to your discomfort. The time frame can also help you identify regardless of whether you have winter allergies or a cold. Symptoms related to a cold serve you for a week to 10 days. Allergies can hold on as long as something triggers an allergic reaction. Fevers most often accompany colds, not allergies.

Year Round Or Seasonal

Depending on the type of allergies you have, you may are afflicted by them year round. It can be common for a person to have allergic reactions to both indoor and outdoor allergens. If you suffer from winter allergies, you should notice a common pattern in one year to the next. The time frame for winter allergies can differ from one client to another, using the season lasting longer in places with extended cold months.

Top Triggers Of Winter Allergies

Most winter allergies come from the same inhaled allergens of summer. Unfortunately, winter can in fact intensify those triggers, including:

Mold and mildew: Decaying leaves and other yard waste gives mildew and mold an ideal breeding ground. Shoes and garments then provide these damp, clingy irritants by having an easy way inside.
Pet dander: Because cold weather means pets are indoors more often, your contact with dander escalates in the winter months, leading to a corresponding improvement in symptoms.
Damp wood: Cut wood stored outside easily turns into a moist haven for mold spores. Bring the wood inside for brief storage and you’ve invited inside a classic allergy trigger.
Temperate climates: Milder climates — where you can find few or no frosts or hard freezes — means the year-round presence of allergens like pollen, year-round symptoms for people living there, or perhaps an increase in allergy symptoms for those traveling to warmer climates within the winter.

Winter Allergies

Winter Allergies

How Are Winter Allergies Diagnosed?

If your symptoms last greater than a week, see your doctor. He may refer you to an allergist who’ll ask about your health history and symptoms.

The allergist may do a skin test where he scratches your skin having a tiny bit of an allergen or injects it simply under your skin. If the area turns red and itchy, you’re allergic. There’s also a blood test to diagnose some allergies.