How To Get Rid Of Winter Allergies
Here are some things you can do to help minimize your symptoms if you have allergies in the winter:
- Check firewood. Prevent mold from entering the house by brushing off firewood before bringing it in, and only bring in what you plan to immediately use.
- Avoid smoke. Smoke can be tough on winter allergies. So, have your chimney cleaned each year and replace your fireplace screen with a fireplace door.
- Wipe your feet. Clean your shoes before stepping inside so wet leaves and other potential winter-allergy carriers stay outside.
- Be smart with storage. Store seasonal items in air-tight containers when not in use to help prevent dust and mold build-up.
Stuffy Nose During The Winter
Being in a cold environment does not cause a stuffy nose. Rather, stuffiness in the winter is usually the result of getting lots of colds or more active allergies during wintertime. During the cold winter months, people spend more time inside, which means more exposure to dust, allergens, and cold germs. A runny nose might be more common in the winter months, but that too many not be directly related to the season.
Treatment And Preventative Options For Eye Discharge
Here are some home remedies to try:
- Avoid touching your eyes, especially with dirty hands. Always wash your hands prior to touching your eyes.
- Always remove your contacts and ensure they are being properly cleaned. Also, avoid wearing old contacts.
- Discard old eye makeup and avoid sharing eye makeup with others.
- Get to know your allergens and avoid them as best as possible or at least stick with your allergy treatment plan.
- Apply warm compresses to the eyes.
Generally, a small amount of eye discharge is normal and only requires you to wash your face to remove it. If you begin to notice changes to your eye discharge, such as changes in color or amount produced, see your doctor, as it could indicate an infection.
Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.
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Winter Allergies Vs A Cold
Winter allergies and colds have common symptoms. Colds, however, come from viruses and spread through contact with another person who carries it. Allergies, on the other hand, are triggered from an allergen or irritant and produce a histamine reaction.
The immune system produces a histamine response to defend against allergens by making you sneeze, tear up, or itch. These responses aim to help you expel that allergen from your body. Antihistamines are commonly prescribed for allergies because they soften the bodys response.
Timing is a clue. Colds usually last several days or a week, ending when your body fights off the virus. Allergies last a lot longer because they persist as long as the allergen is around.
How Are Seasonal Allergies Diagnosed
Identifying seasonal allergies can be difficult because both seasonal and environmental allergies can have similar symptoms explained Carvalho. Dogs with food allergies can have symptoms that manifest in the skin and in the gastrointestinal tract .
There are different ways that seasonal allergies can be diagnosed, according to PetMD. One common method is an intradermal skin test.
Very similar to allergy testing in humans, with this method, a small amount of test allergens are injected under your dogs skin. Allergens are then identified by which injections cause redness, swelling and hives.
Using those results, your vet can create a specialized serum or immunotherapy shot that can be administered by the vet or at home.
Your vet may recommend other ways to diagnose the cause of your dogs allergies depending upon their symptoms.
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Talking About The Weather
Whats the spring allergy outlook where you live? Will sudden temperature changes trigger an asthma flare? Weather can play a key role in asthma and allergy symptoms and flu transmission. We partnered with Weather Trends International to provide weather forecasting and analysis for people with asthma and allergies.
What Time Of Year Is It
In the spring, pollens from trees and flowers are everywhere. If your child is sneezing, wheezing and dripping, blame the pollens.
In the summer, mold and insect bites can also trigger allergic reactions. The hot months are also marked by âfood pollen syndrome.â Thatâs when fruits and vegetables carry allergens that can set off symptoms in your mouth.
Also, if your child is having symptoms at different times of the day, “itâs consistent with allergies,â McMorris says. âI always try to relate it to what kids are doing.â
Say your little one wakes up congested, for instance — they may be reacting to dust mites, dander from the family dog or cat, or indoor molds. If they donât want to eat for a few hours after waking up, it may be allergy-related nasal drainage dampening their appetite. If the itchy eyes and sneeziness tend to come on when they are at soccer practice in the morning, keep in mind that that’s when plants tend to pollinate.
When itâs winter time and your childâs eyes are fine, though, it’s more likely that a virus is to blame for their symptoms, McMorris says. Still, youâll need to ask your pediatrician to find out for sure. You may also need a referral to a doctor who specializes in allergies.
Winter Symptoms Similar To Spring/summer/fall Ones
Although specific data is hard to come by, I would estimate that roughly 5-20% of Americans suffer from some form of winter allergy, based on the number of patients I see in my Westchester Health practice.
James Pollowitz, MD, FAAAAI, FACAAI
The symptoms of winter allergies are fairly identical to those of spring, summer and fall:
- itchy eyes, nose and throat
Winter Allergies: The Allergies You Didnt Know You Could Have
Seasonal allergies dont just happen in fall and spring. In fact, you can end up dealing with allergy symptoms during wintertime. If youve been sneezing or experiencing other symptoms of winter allergies, its important to learn more about this condition. Keep in mind that treatment is available when you need allergy relief.
Common Winter Allergens
What kinds of allergens are around during winter? At this time of year, youre most likely spending more of your time inside. This means youre exposed to common indoor allergens that can trigger adverse reactions. Some common winter allergens that might affect you include the following:
- Dust, including airborne dust and dust mites on surfaces around your home
- Dander from pets, such as dogs and cats
- Mold and mildew in bathrooms or other humid areas of your home
Causes of Winter Allergies
When you have allergic reactions during winter, this means your body regards allergens as harmful particles or pathogens. When you breathe in dust, mold, or pet dander, your immune system targets these particles for destruction. Your immune system does this in order to protect you from illness. This immune system response involves releasing histamines, which trigger allergy symptoms.
Allergy Symptoms in Winter
What kinds of symptoms do you have with winter allergies? When youre exposed to these allergens, you might have any of the following symptoms:
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Tips To Tame Winter Allergies
Whether it’s summer, spring, or winter allergies stuffing you up, you can do a lot to manage — or prevent — allergy symptoms, including:
You’re not alone with winter allergies. More than 40 million Americans are allergy-prone year-round. If you aren’t getting the relief you need with lifestyle changes or over-the-counter medication, it may be time to talk to an allergist.
What Can You Tell By The Color And Consistency Of Phlegm
When the lungs become infected, either from bronchitis or pneumonia , they often create more mucus.
Infection may cause mucus to change from a clear or light yellow thinner liquid to a darker thicker one. Mucus can become darker yellow or green. The dead white blood cells and other changes from the bodys response to infection cause this color change. The change in color may mean that your body is fighting off an infection. But not always.
There is some evidence that green or yellow phlegm is more often caused by a bacterial infection . Its just not a guarantee, so your doctor will look at other symptoms to decide which type of infection you havea bacterial one or a viral one.
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Winter Allergies Vs Seasonal Colds
So, how do you know if you have a cold or seasonal allergies?
An allergic reaction is your body’s immune system fighting against something it falsely sees as a threat. Many times this will be caused by dust, mold or a pollen like ragweed.
A cold is caused by a virus. You are more likely suffering from a cold if you have a fever or cough. Another distinction is your symptoms change over time. Some people may start with a sore throat and after a few days then have chest congestion and a cough.
With an allergy you will more likely have clear mucus . Your symptoms will likely stay the same. You may feel achy and have a headache, however those symptoms may also be present with the common cold.
Assuming you have winter allergy symptoms, take these 5 simple steps to feel better.
Whether you write them down or bookmark this post, these will all help reduce year-round allergies.
Trapped Bacteria In Nose Throat And Lungs
Mucus production is very much normal and plays a lot of roles, even when a person is much healthy. It normally protects the tissue that normally lines the lungs, throat, as well as the nasal and also the sinus passages, thus keeping moist and thus preventing it from drying out.
It also traps any unwanted bacteria and also the allergens , thus preventing them from spreading through the body and also making an individual sick.
- Mucus has antibodies, or even the enzymes that are designed to get rid of or even neutralize the harmful allergens.
- As is the case with the mucus, phlegm that has a color like green may signal infection.
Any time that an individual observes blood that is contained in the phlegm when they cough up, then he should seek urgent medical attention. Mucus helps to protect the lungs through capturing of the dirt and also the dust as a person inhales.
A person is able to safely swallow the mixture, but many people dont like the sensation that is accompanied with swallowing of the large amounts. The body is able to reabsorb most of the mucus that is produced itself.
Dirt, dust, and also the debris are passed out of the system, and any other bacteria are then killed by the stomach acids.
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How To Avoid A Winter Allergy And Control Symptoms
So how can you avoid all of the sneezing and coughing that comes from spending too much time indoors? How can you feel better? Its simple, but you need a strategy that includes avoiding winter allergies and controlling symptoms when they arrive.
To control the amount of airborne pollution in your home, you should make sure the ducts are cleaned properly. During cold winters, the furnace will recirculate the same air over and over again. This can leave large deposits of dust and debris in your ventilation system and duct work, but you can help control the amount of dust by conducting thorough maintenance on your system. For example, you should change the filter of your furnace once a month, which will help remove dirt and dust that has collected. Having the ductwork professionally cleaned will also help improve the air quality in your home, and you can clean the vents, which is essentially a last stop for dust before its released into your homes air. If youre not confident in completing this task yourself, you can hire a professional team to do it for you.
Air purifiers are important for all seasonal allergies, but they are extremely important in the winter. You cant open the windows to remove pollen and dust mites, so youre going to need a great air purifier!
Why Does Your Body Overproduce Mucus
Mucus has an important role in the body. It lines many of your tissues. Its slippery consistency helps protect and moisturize, and it also traps potential irritants.
Your body can go into overdrive creating mucus and phlegm when you:
Have a cold Have allergies Are exposed to smoke or pollution
Environmental allergies can cause excess mucus or phlegm, as can food allergies, but the latter is harder to diagnose based on this symptom alone, Dr. Bryson says.
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Natural Remedies For Allergies #1 Apple Cider Vinegar
This is definitely our first choice. Boosting your immunesystem is the single most important thing you can do to successfully treat and cureyour allergies. And 80% of your immune system is actually located in your gut, so by getting your gut healthy, you will naturally get your immune systemhealthy! Even Ancient Chinese Medicine agrees with this. They believe that allergiesare almost always related to gut and intestinal problems, so once you remedythis, you remedy annoying seasonal allergies such as hay fever or allergicrhinitis.
So how does apple cider vinegar actually fit into this?Well, ACV is a very powerful gut healer and immune booster. It also helps topromote the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut, which isanother excellent home remedy for all types of allergies .Apple cider vinegar is also rich in potassium and magnesium. A deficiency ofboth these minerals has been linked to seasonal allergies and even asthma. Inaddition to this, ACV helps to soothe the lungs and bronchial walls and breakdown phlegm.
The Best Apple Cider Vinegar to Take…
What Causes Allergies During The Winter
“You don’t have pollens in winter,” says Douglas H. Jones, MD, of the Rocky Mountain Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Group in Layton, Utah. So outdoor winter allergies arent such a cause for concern. “But you still have the indoor . And if youre spending more time indoors during cold weather, you might notice an increase in allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, wheezing, and itchy, watery eyes. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, common indoor allergens include:
- Dander Its the dander , not the hair of household pets such as cats and dogs, that can cause acute or chronic allergic reactions in people.
- Dust Mites These microscopic bugs might be the most common cause of year-round indoor allergies, notes the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. Dust mites thrive in bedding, carpeting, and the upholstered furniture inside your home.
- Indoor Mold We all breathe in mold spores, but for those with an allergy, exposure can trigger sneezing, congestion, and itchiness. Mold and mildew favor damp areas, like basements and bathrooms.
- Cockroach Droppings These persistent pests can live anywhere, and while theyre not a sign of an unhygienic or unsanitary household, its important to keep food well-contained and be vigilant about cleaning up crumbs. Fixing leaky faucets and pipes and sealing up cracks and crevices in your home can help keep cockroaches away.
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Causes Of Sinus Congestion
- Viral Sinus Infection. Part of the common cold. A cold infects the lining of the nose. It also involves the lining of all the sinuses.
- Bacterial Sinus Infection. A problem when the sinus becomes infected with bacteria. . It starts as a viral sinus infection. Main symptoms are increased sinus pain or return of fever. The skin around the eyelids or cheeks may become red or swollen. Thick nasal secretions that last over 14 days may point to a sinus infection. This can occur in younger children.
- Allergic Sinus Reaction. Sinus congestion often occurs with nasal allergies . Sneezing, itchy nose and clear nasal discharge point to this cause.
How To Treat Seasonal Allergies
In most cases, an over-the-counter antihistamine and decongestant will do the trick. If you have severe allergies, however, your doctor may prescribe nasal steroid spray or allergy shots to dampen symptoms.
It’s always a good idea to try your best to avoid your triggers, but that doesn’t mean you have to hole up inside with a box of tissues. To get less exposure to your allergens:
- Keep your windows shut when your allergies are active
- Use an air purifier if you’re sensitive to indoor allergens
- Wear a dust mask while doing yard work
- Check your local weather network for pollen forecasts
- Take a shower and wash your hair at the end of each day to get rid of pollen that attached to your clothes, hair and skin
What’s Your Winter Allergies Risk
The reason is simple: Many of those warm weather irritants are around all year, like pet dander, mold, and mildew. And once you settle indoors for the chilly holiday season — the windows closed, the heater on — your exposure to these allergens spikes, says Asriani Chiu, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and medicine , at the College of Wisconsin.
The best way to handle winter allergies is to understand what’s triggering them and why. To help you do that, WebMD went to the experts and got their tips on what causes the allergies of winter, and how you can take control.