Yes, You Can Enjoy The Season And Get Control Of All That Sneezin'

Health & Medical Blog

Although you should be enjoying the crisp, fresh air of Winter and all the fluffy white stuff that comes with it, you're instead, preoccupied with your allergy symptoms? After all, it's difficult to gaze into a crackling fireplace if your eyes are glazed over and tearing; you can't take in a whiff of the sweet treats baking in the kitchen if your nose is running a mile a minute and you certainly can't settle your brain for a long Winter's nap if sinuses have your head pounding. Winter allergies are tough, no doubt, and unfortunately, can inhibit your ability to enjoy the otherwise joyous season.

What Are The Common Symptoms Of Winter Allergies?

For many people, seasonal allergies aren't very distinguishable from each other, with Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall bringing on all the same stifling symptoms:

  • Non-stop nose running.
  • Sneezing and/or the sensation of needing to sneeze, although it might not ever come.
  • Runny and irritated eyes, so red you look like you haven't slept in a week.
  • A dry cough and sore throat.

Your symptoms may vary, not to be confused with a common cold or Flu, during which you'd likely have body aches, fever, chills and other, more personal issues plaguing you. Allergies are a nonstop response by your immune system to something it's just not agreeing with in your environment. 

Why Are You Still Sneezing If The Pollen Is Gone?

Even if your battle is usually with pollen, you may still suffer allergies through Winter, even though most sources are buried under a pile of snow or simply dormant for the season. Since snow and cold usually keep people inside, triggers there can be fired up, leaving you with just as much allergy misery as in Summer or Spring. Allergy triggers indoors generally include:

  • Pesky pet dander.
  • Tiny dust mites.
  • Heating elements, including that romantic fireplace.
  • Icky mold emerging around the house, which you may react to before it even becomes visible.
  • Fuzzy sweaters, blankets, and more, if they're made with a wool-blend.
  • Indoor insects, which leave minuscule deposits of unspeakable materials.

What Can You Do Around The House To Ease Winter Allergies?

Being aware of what's bothering you is the first step in tackling Winter allergies. Sometimes it's obvious, such as breaking out into a sneeze fest when the cat hops on your lap, but it could be more subtle, or a combination of everything all at once, especially since your windows are likely closed, sealing your sinus cavity in with all those potential triggers.

Cleaning is important, especially if you have a lot of carpeting in your home. A humidifier should also help clear the dry air for you, but be cautious about over-humidifying, as it can encourage mold growth. If possible, see that pets are bathed frequently throughout the season and be sure you have a safe space away from their dander, especially to sleep. 

Avoid or minimize exposure to your individual triggers, as much as the indoor circumstances allow. Consider, too, triggers in other places and from other people, such as if you have a "cat lady" at work, occupying the cubicle next to yours.

Does Your Doctor Have Winter Allergy Treatment Options?

Your doctor does have options, and it's best to discuss your allergies with them prior to trying any treatments, even over-the-counter remedies. Most meds have at least a few side-effects and may not be targeting your issues directly, anyway. Your doctor might prescribe a steroid nasal spray or an antihistamine. If you're a serious animal lover with a pet allergy, ask the doctor about immune therapy, which is more intensive and long-term. 

No matter what, though, self-diagnosis and treatment aren't the best routes to take with any potential immune issue, and even if it's just a simple dust mite allergy, your symptoms can explode out of control, making life and work difficult. A doctor or allergy specialist's advice should be sought, at least initially.

There's no reason you should suffer from allergies all Winter long. Limit your exposure to known allergy triggers and talk to your doctor. Hopefully, you'll soon be able to sniff your steaming hot cocoa (with whip cream and a cherry) without a sneeze or a sniffle. 

For more information, contact your local allergy treatment center today.


4 December 2018

Allergy Relief: You Have More Options Than You Think

As a child, I used to spend my days roaming through the woods. I climbed trees, smelled the flowers, and laid in the grass looking at the clouds. My love for nature continued through my teen years, but when I turned 23, I began to sneeze whenever I left my home. I could no longer enjoy my outdoor hikes and I started taking antihistamines so I could at least open my windows on warm days. My allergies got worse though and I met with an allergist who completed a variety of skin tests. I started receiving allergy shots and my allergist taught me about natural cleaning processes and sinus rinses. The injections and natural treatments improved my quality of life greatly. Even if you do not want to start allergy injections, you have a variety of options that can lessen your symptoms, and you should learn what these options are.