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The onset of winter brings with it chilly and dry winds. For some, it’s the time to enjoy the chill weather with hot water baths and soothing drinks, and for others it’s time to brave the long persistent cold and flu like symptoms which cause sickness and discomfort.
People who are allergic to the winter season can catch a cold on the slightest exposure to cold air. Sometimes, it’s difficult to ascertain whether it is cold or an external allergen. In people prone to winter allergies, the allergies are mainly caused due to the allergens present in the environment. Mostly, winter allergies are also caused by the same allergens that are triggered in the summer season.
Thus, people who have some or the other form of seasonal allergy is likely to suffer from allergies as the season changes.
- Pet dander (flakes of skin in an animal's fur or hair) allergies are believed to escalate in winter since pets are mostly indoors during this season. The best way to deal with this is keeping the pet’s area clean and dry, washing and changing of the bedding regularly, and avoiding physical contact as much as possible.
- Dampness of clothes, blankets and shoes at home can be an allergy trigger for many people. The best way to control this type of allergy is to keep damp clothes and shoes in sun for some time. However, this may not work in many countries with extreme cold climates, which lack sunshine in their environment.
- Decaying leaves and other yard waste can cause allergies due to mould and mildew. Mopping and sweeping the floors and garden can help alleviate the problem to some extent.
- Dry climate can cause irritation in the nose and throat. It’s important to replenish the body with adequate liquids and water rich fruits and veggies. It’s important to choose your drinks wisely. Too much tea or coffee can also dehydrate the body. Go for ginger lemon honey infused in warm water for best results.
- Allergy symptoms can also be caused due to too much moisture in the environment. It can give rise to a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing and coughing. Thus it’s best to avoid sitting in a moist environment for long.
- Sinus congestions are also common during the winter season. Steam inhalation and hot showers can help relieve the symptoms and provide relief.
Whether you are allergic to pets, moisture, dampness, dry weather or chilled winds, the thumb rule is twofold—to understand what triggers your allergies and to avoid your exposure to those allergens. As we all know, allergies have no cure and they need to be managed. Drugs also help in controlling the allergy symptoms to some extent. However, it’s best to prevent them as far as possible. If you are confused about what triggers your allergy, make sure to consult your doctor.