Most people have probably suffered through a bad allergy season at some point in their life. But you might be surprised to learn that several different types of allergies can still flare up during the coldest months of the year.
In this article, we’ll explore the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for winter allergies. We will also discuss ways to reduce exposure to indoor allergens and improve your overall allergy symptoms during the winter season.
Whether you are new to winter allergies or looking for ways to manage your existing condition, continue reading to better understand and manage your symptoms.
Yes, you can get allergies in the winter.
Allergies are a reaction of your immune system to an allergen — typically pollen or other airborne irritants, such as dust mites or pet dander. Seasonal allergies are caused by pollen and other allergens, which can be carried by the wind or travel on clothing and pet fur into your home. As the weather gets colder in fall and winter, these allergens become trapped inside your home instead of being blown away by the wind.
When you breathe in these trapped allergens, they trigger an allergic response from your body that can make it hard for you to breathe easily.
Winter allergies are also known as indoor allergies, since the leading cause of allergies in winter is exposure to indoor allergens, such as dust mites, pet dander, and mold. These allergens can accumulate in homes and other spaces during winter, when people spend more time indoors.
The symptoms of winter allergies can include:
Some people may also experience symptoms of asthma, such as wheezing, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing. In some cases, winter allergies can also lead to sinus infections, which can cause additional symptoms like facial pressure or pain, fever, and thick nasal discharge. In addition, winter allergies can also make atopic dermatitis, eczema, and other skin conditions worse, especially if there’s exposure to irritants, low humidity, and hot showers.
Allergic reactions occur when our bodies detect something foreign — like pollen — and produce antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These IgE antibodies cause histamine to be released into the bloodstream, which causes inflammation and swelling in the nose, throat, and lungs. This results in symptoms like sneezing, congestion, and itchy eyes. The main causes of indoor allergies in the winter include:
Additionally, certain environmental factors, like changes in the weather, cold temperatures, and the use of air conditioning, can also exacerbate symptoms. These can lead to dry air, which in turn can cause dry, itchy eyes and throat.
A snow allergy is an allergic reaction to touching snow or ice. It can cause redness and itching in areas where the skin comes into contact with snow or ice. The most common areas affected are the hands, feet, and face, but any part of the body could be affected.
It is possible that you may have an allergic reaction to certain components of snow, such as mold spores or pollens that may be present in the snow.
Additionally, some people may have a sensitivity to the cold, which can cause red, itchy eyes, runny nose, and difficulty breathing. This condition is called cold urticaria, and it’s pretty rare.
If you experience seasonal allergies, you know how miserable your symptoms can make you feel. The good news is that there are things you can do to manage your symptoms, even if they don’t go away completely. Here are some ways to manage winter allergy symptoms:
If you’re among the millions of people who experience winter allergies, you might be wondering how to avoid them. Here are several ways to prevent winter allergies:
There are many factors that come into play when you’re dealing with seasonal winter allergies. The symptoms of winter allergies can be uncomfortable, but they are quite easy to deal with.
An excellent first step is to identify the source of your reaction, get rid of the offending source, and use medication as required. Then, when you’re feeling less stuffy, take steps to avoid exposure to irritants in the future and follow up with your doctor regularly.