This season, some of my patients have complained to me that they have symptoms of a runny nose and sometimes, a scratchy throat and think it’s a cold. But in reality, I tell them it’s probably a winter allergy.
Colds, I tell my patients, usually display symptoms of a low-grade fever, sore throat and a cough. But as Dr. William Schaffner, a chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. says in a report for ABC News, “you might a have a little bit of a sore throat with allergies, but’s mostly runny nose and red, itchy eyes.” Other symptoms include sneezing and dark circles under the eyes.
Also, colds can be accompanied by body aches and fatigue; symptoms not generally associated with allergic reactions.
So the question my patients ask if spring and summer brings pollen allergies, what causes the onset of winter ones.
The winter season brings on a number of allergies associated with holiday celebrations. For instance, as Discovery Health. com states, “a stored Christmas tree and holiday ornaments or even a menorah may contain dust or even mold. A live tree’s scent may cause sinus congestion in some people. Furthermore, additional winter blankets, carpeting and clothes that been stored since the previous winter can release dust mites and old spores into the air and around the house when they are removed from storage.”
I recommend the following to limit allergen exposure: Keep pets outside as much as possible and limit them to a specific area in the house; wash all linens and clothes have been stored before using them again; keep humidity levels at 40% as recommended by National Jewish Health.com; use a HEPA air filter to clean dust from the air; and if necessary, buy a synthetic Christmas tree.
To learn more, http://www.nycallergydoctor.com/allergy.Tweet