Winter Allergies: What are the Causes of My Allergy Symptoms?

What’s Causing My Winter Allergies?

Winter Allergies

You might think that allergy symptoms only occur during the warmer months, and something like “winter allergies” doesn’t exist, but that statement could not be further from the truth. Allergy symptoms can rear their ugly head during the winter, and depending on where you live, many experience their worst allergy symptoms during the wintertime. But even if your surrounding area is not a problem, being inside can also trigger an allergic reaction. Indoor triggers such as mold, dust, and even indoor Christmas trees can also cause a person to experience allergy symptoms.

When we think of something that causes an allergic response, especially during the winter, we usually would think of mold and dust. However, the cold can also cause a condition called cold urticaria, a skin reaction to the cold that can cause the skin to develop hives and swelling of the lips and hands. A true winter allergy, this reaction can occur from cold weather, cold water, and from consuming cold food and drinks. While some people experience a minor reaction to the cold, others can have a severe reaction. Anaphylaxis and shock can occur, as well as severe swelling of the throat and tongue, making it difficult to breathe.

Since it’s December, if you celebrate Christmas, there’s a good chance you have a Christmas tree in your home. Even if you don’t use a freshly cut tree, you can still experience an allergic reaction if your Christmas tree is fake. The chemicals used to manufacture the tree can cause a reaction in some, and if your tree is stored away each year, it may contain mold, dust, animal dander, bugs, and cockroach and mouse droppings. All of which can trigger allergy symptoms in some people. If you have a freshly cut Christmas tree, odors, pollen, and mold spores emitted from the tree can also make your asthma and allergies worse.

Mold is one of those winter allergies that can make you miserable, affecting you outdoors and indoors. When it’s cold outside, mold allergies can become intense during the late winter to early spring, and this can cause a person to experience asthma and allergic rhinitis symptoms. Unfortunately, when it’s cold outside, we are more likely to stay indoors, where mold allergies can affect a person all year round. Unfortunately, indoor mold levels often become higher when outdoor molds are at their highest, which has the potential to make a person even more miserable. Talk about a double whammy!

While you may think that your runny nose is due to allergies, it may be a reaction to the cold weather. When you experience a runny nose during the winter, the culprit may be vasomotor rhinitis, not allergies. This non-allergic form of rhinitis can cause congestion, post-nasal drip, as well as a runny nose. The weather turning cold and crisp is a primary trigger. Still, vasomotor rhinitis can also be triggered by smoke, strong odors, windy weather, and changes in humidity levels – all of which you are likely to be exposed to during the winter.

If your winter allergies are severe, and you need medical intervention, contact us today. Our specially trained sinus doctors at the New York Sinus Center work hard to find you the most appropriate solution to your sinus problems.

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