For many allergy sufferers in Chicago, allergies don’t come to an end in the fall months. Though certain allergens, like pollen, fill the atmosphere in the spring, plenty of allergens exist year-round, and if you’re sensitive to them, you may experience allergy symptoms in the winter. In fact, your allergy symptoms may be worse in the winter, when they’re more likely to combine with colds or the flu.
It’s important to have a plan in place to reduce your winter allergy symptoms, and at Premier Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Care, we work closely with our patients to design a plan tailored to their specific case.
What are Winter Allergies?
Winter allergies aren’t any different than allergies you experience during other times of the year. However, winter allergies might seem a bit harsher than other seasonal allergies because of the typical colder weather and increase in cold and flu cases. Patients also tend to spend more time indoors during the winter months, so they’re more frequently exposed to indoor allergens such as:
- Dust mites
- Airborne dust particles
- Pet dander
- Cockroach and other bug droppings
Winter may be the toughest time of the year for your allergies, depending on what you’re allergic to. Dr. Latall and staff work closely with you to pinpoint the cause of your symptoms. Limiting your exposure to allergens, wherever possible, is key to controlling your allergy symptoms.
What are the symptoms of winter allergies?
Symptoms of winter allergies are generally the same as the symptoms of other seasonal allergies. They include:
- Runny/stuffy nose
- Itchy throat
- Sneezing and coughing
- Itchy eyes
- Itchy ears
- Difficulty breathing
- Skin rash
- Chest tightness
Many allergy symptoms are similar to the symptoms of common wintertime illnesses like the common cold and the flu. You may confuse an allergic reaction for another illness, or your allergy symptoms can make them worse.
Treatments for winter allergies
The most effective way to treat winter allergy symptoms is to prevent them by avoiding allergens whenever possible. However, avoiding allergens can be challenging, especially when you’re allergic to common airborne substances like mold and dust mites. Dr. Qureshi may recommend one or more of the following options to relieve your symptoms:
Nasal irrigation treatment or neti pot
These treatments work by pushing clean water through your nasal passages to eliminate allergens.
You can purchase prescription-strength nasal sprays over-the-counter. They’re a great way to relieve inflammation and other symptoms.
Over-the-counter allergy medication
Over-the-counter antihistamines work well to relieve allergy symptoms. Acetaminophen, a pain reliever and fever reducer, can help with certain symptoms of allergies as well.
Allergy shots (immunotherapy)
If your symptoms are severe and chronic, ask us about allergy shot options. They work by regularly exposing you to minute levels of allergens so that they improve your body’s immunity. This type of treatment greatly reduces the severity of symptoms in the long term.
If you’re suffering from winter allergies and are looking for relief, call us today or schedule an appointment online for a consultation with one of our doctors.
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