Winter is a time enjoyed by many, with holidays and colder weather making time indoors a cozy and fun experience. However, winter isn’t always an enjoyable time for those who suffer from allergies, and it often isn’t the culprit most people think of when they try to put a cause behind their sniffling, sneezing, and fatigue.
In the winter, it can be difficult for many people to distinguish between allergies and cold-like symptoms. That’s because the cause of most allergies people are familiar with, such as pollen, aren’t very common in the air during cold and wet or snowy months. Although many have been led to believe that feeling not-up-to-par in the winter is part of cold and flu season, it may actually be the case that allergies are to blame.
Allergies are the immune system’s overreaction to foreign particles, and they can create an inflammatory response that lead to symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, and itch eyes, as well as sinus pressure, headaches, and congestion. While symptoms of allergies may overlap with symptoms of the common cold, they are caused by different things – a virus for colds, and allergens for allergic responses. With allergies, unlike colds, symptoms may not dissipate and go away as easily.
With the winter months fast approaching, it’s important to understand what allergens you should be looking out for, as well as the importance of seeking testing, diagnosis, and treatment from experienced specialists like those at the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia. Below, our Atlanta allergists have listed four allergens you should look out for this winter:
- Mold – Mold can trigger allergies during all times of year, but can become more common in winter months when weather becomes wet, cold, and a breeding ground for mold. Mold can be found both outdoors and indoors, especially in places like bathrooms and basements.
- Dust mites – Dust mites can live in numerous places within your home, including upholstered furniture, carpeting, and bedding. If you’re spending more time indoors, reducing your exposure to dust mites, in addition to treatment, can help you gain control of symptoms. That means more vacuuming, dusting, washing bedding in hot water, and removing mold with bleach.
- Animal dander – When it gets colds, pets spend more time indoors, both at your own home and the homes of relatives and friends. Pet dander is a common allergen and can cause sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, and other symptoms.
- Air pollutants – Colder months necessitate a need for heat, which can be provided by fires or central heating. Be wary of burning wood fires indoors if you notice allergy symptoms, and clean heaters and vents prior to using them for the winter.
Find Relief by Visiting One of Our Office Locations
Our allergy specialists at the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia are committed to helping patients improve the quality of their lives and find freedom from symptoms that can reduce their enjoyment of the winter months and performance at work or school. From testing to treatment, our team is able to provide comprehensive care and get you back on your feet. Call today to learn more about our services or make an appointment online!