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Do Allergies Ever Flare Up in the Winter?

Do Allergies Ever Flare Up in the Winter?

When the typical symptoms of seasonal allergies flare up in the cool weather months, you may be wondering why, particularly if you head indoors when spring and summer allergies hit. It turns out that the indoor environment has its own set of allergens to which you might be vulnerable. 

That’s perhaps the biggest difference between seasonal allergies, when you move your exposure from outside to inside. Instead of pollen from growing plants, you’re faced with allergens that exist indoors, aggravated by closed windows and limited air circulation. 

To pinpoint a heavy reaction to winter allergies, schedule an allergy screening test with Alpha Internal Medicine in Fayetteville, Georgia. When your symptoms are too strong to control with over-the-counter remedies, Dr. Betsy Horton and her team can provide you with alternatives. 

Winter allergy symptoms

There’s no difference between the symptoms of winter allergies and their counterparts in other seasons. You’re responding to a different set of substances, but your body’s reaction is the same, including the runny nose, irritated eyes, and itchy palate that may accompany summer allergen exposure. 

This doesn’t mean that everyone who has spring and summer allergies will have the winter version, too. Specific allergen sensitivities are often present in unique combinations and strengths, so your allergy experience may be all your own. 

Sometimes, the respiratory symptoms of an allergy flare up may resemble cold or flu, though there are usually clues to help you identify the problem. Allergies can go on as long as you’re exposed to a trigger. Colds and flu tend to follow a progression lasting between one and two weeks. They may cause aches and fever that allergies won’t. Steady symptoms over several weeks without accompanying fever or pain point toward a problem stemming from allergies. 

Common winter triggers

Allergy triggers are the normally harmless substances that cause exaggerated immune system responses in those who are sensitive to them. In the winter, common allergy triggers include:

While all of these factors may be present year round, they likely become a problem in the winter when fresh air from outside is limited to keep heat in. Forced air furnaces can stir up these concentrated allergens, creating a stronger exposure than in the summer, when inside air is diluted with fresh air coming in through open windows. 

It’s also possible that the allergies you experience during the heavy air conditioner months are from indoor sources rather than the pollen that you might expect. 

Limit your exposure

You can help keep winter allergies at bay with simple household cleanings that include: 

Use a dehumidifier to keep relative humidity between 30 and 50% to reduce both dust mites and building mold. Hard floors are better for allergy care than carpeting. 

When allergy symptoms interfere with your days, call or click to make an appointment with Alpha Internal Medicine to review your symptoms and sensitivities. There’s no reason why you can’t breathe easily through the winter months. Book your consultation today.

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