With the change of seasons into winter, it may seem like it’s time for allergy sufferers to get a break from pollen and other common outdoor allergy-triggers. In actuality, more than 40 million people suffer from allergies year round. At a time of year when cold viruses are common, it can be easy to dismiss allergy symptoms as seasonal sickness and, because allergies are so common, many people assume there’s little that can be done to improve their quality of life. Here’s what you need to know about winter allergies and how a specialist can help you define the root cause of your symptoms, so you can get some relief.
Top Causes of Winter Allergies
As we spend more time indoors, and start cranking up our long-dormant heating systems, we’re exposing ourselves to indoor winter allergy triggers. Here are some of the top causes of winter allergies.
These microscopic insect-like parasites like to live in upholstery (and upholstered items like stuffed toys), bedding, mattresses and carpeting, where they feed on our dead skin cells. Many people are allergic to dust mite droppings and remains, which can become airborne and inhaled into our respiratory systems.
From basements to bathrooms, funguses thrive in damp, humid environments. They release spores into the air, which trigger allergies in people who are sensitive to mold.
Animals have proteins in their dander, saliva and urine that can trigger allergies. While we may blame their fur, it’s actually these proteins that we are reacting to.
Signs and Symptoms of Winter Allergies
Allergy symptoms can be confused with cold or flu symptoms, especially in the winter which we associate with these types of viruses. Unlike a virus, however, allergies can linger for weeks or months, causing your immune system to work in overdrive. Here are some of the most recognizable winter allergy symptoms:
What Can You Do About Winter Allergies?
The best course of action when addressing winter allergies is a comprehensive allergy treatment plan. Your specialist should be able to diagnose the root causes of your symptoms, to ensure you’re not just managing the symptoms. While over-the-counter medications like antihistamines can help provide relief, it’s important to understand the true underlying cause that is contributing to your discomfort. In addition to reaching out to an allergy, asthma and immunology specialist, there are a few things that can help reduce your exposure to indoor winter allergy triggers:
Your allergy, asthma and immunology specialist can help create a comprehensive treatment plan to help manage your allergies all year long. Adhering to a treatment plan and taking your medications as instructed is an important part of creating lasting relief.
At Family Allergy Asthma Clinic, we see the symptoms of allergies and asthma telling a greater story about what’s going on inside your body. Our approach combines the latest research in immunology with accurate diagnosis, early intervention, and evidence-based treatments so you enjoy a happy and healthy life in every season. Reach out to us here, and let’s get started.
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