No matter how much you love summer, you’ve got to admit that winter is really wonderful too. From the snow to the fashion, it also makes you appreciate summer even more. But the one thing you can be forgiven for about not loving the cold season is the winter allergies, especially when you can’t work out the cause.
As allergist Todd Mahr, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) said, “Most allergy sufferers develop similar symptoms no matter what allergen they’re reacting to.” So what exactly happens to your body when have winter allergies?
“When you have a stuffy or runny nose, itchy, watery eyes or sneezing and coughing you know you’re probably allergic to something,” Mahr said. Sometimes, seasonal allergy symptoms can get so bad that they take over your day to day life and affect your ability to complete your usual daily tasks. “If it’s serious enough to prompt a trip to the doctor for relief, see an allergist,” he added.
Winter allergies are often confused for a common cold
It’s easy to confuse winter allergies with a common cold, so it’s important to be able to recognize the difference. “Colds, whether it’s viral or bacterial, tend to have more of a discolored mucus — more cloudy or yellow — whereas with allergies it tends to be clear,” Matthew Ellison, MD, an assistant professor of head and neck surgery at Duke University, told Insider. Oh, and if you have a fever or chills, it probably is an actual common cold, not allergies.
So, how do you treat winter allergies? The best thing you can do is prevent them. As Matthew A. Rank, MD, an allergy expert with the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, told Everyday Health, try to reduce air dryness with a humidifier and keep your house dust free with a weekly clean (yes, this includes your bedsheets). If that doesn’t make a difference, it’s time to head to your local doctor.
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