Itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing … can it be allergies? During Winter? YES.

Just because its winter doesn’t mean seasonal allergies have decided to hibernate. Yup, turns out that if you’re allergic to pollen – often dubbed as “the pixie dust of Satan” – you may not catch a break this Winter. Winter can be allergy season too.

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Because of colder temperatures, we tend to spend more time indoors surrounded by indoor allergens that could trigger our allergies. In fact, in a year like 2021, where most people have been confined to their homes due to Covid-19, we could very likely experience this Winter as the most intense allergy season yet. So, don’t be surprised if your Winter “cold” is actually allergies.

Indoor allergens can cause severe allergy symptoms and ultimately weakens the immune system’s ability to fight off respiratory diseases. Most Winter allergies are triggered by substances inside your home such as dander, dust mites and mold – which can prompt a host of symptoms from a runny nose and sneezing to a sore throat and itchy eyes. Treatment for allergies typically include antihistamines, decongestants and immunotherapy. But there’s a lot you can do to fight back against allergy invaders.

Here’s how:

  • Reduce dander by keeping your pet out of your bedroom. Bathe the animal once a week and vacuum the carpets regularly.
  • Reduce dust mites by washing bedding once a week in hot water. Use hypoallergenic cases for mattresses and pillows. Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting; use area rugs instead. Clean, dust and vacuum regularly.
  • Reduce mold by opening windows and keeping the humidity between 30 and 50%; a dehumidifier may be a good idea. And if you see a moldy area, clean it with detergent.

Perhaps one reason that Winter allergies don’t get the press they deserve is because they share a lot of symptoms with the common cold.

People with cold symptoms typically have body aches, headaches, sore throats, often fevers and usually end up with colored mucous (yellow or green) from their nose or lungs. Also, a cold usually doesn’t last for more than 10 days, whereas allergies can linger for weeks and even months.

The symptoms of Covid-19 are listed everywhere but these symptoms are what set Covid-19 apart from allergies – fever, fatigue, a dry cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste and smell, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Indicators that it’s an allergy and not Covid-19 may be – sneezing, an itchy nose and eyes, a runny, stuffy nose and watery, red eyes.

However, if you’re usure whether your symptoms are due to allergies or Covid-19, your best bet is always to check in with your doctor.

Stay safe and healthy this Winter!


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.