Understanding the Symptoms of Winter Allergies

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Dec 05, 2013

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Quick Bites

  • If you have a runny nose and itchy eyes, you may have pollen allergy.
  • Dust allergy symptoms are red, itchy, watery eyes besides itchy or stuffy nose.
  • Hives are the body's reaction to an allergen which forms a rash.
  • A cold doesn't last for more than a week but allergies can linger for months.

Winters can be difficult because one has to confide indoors to prevent oneself from infection causing offenders such as dust mites, mould, and pet dander. They are the reason why you start to sneeze, have watery eyes and runny nose as soon as winter begins.

cold weather allergy symptomsCold weather allergies are a result of the immune system going awry. These can take many shapes, from runny nose to nasal congestion, and from fatigue to rashes. Such allergies are difficult to deal with but aren’t permanent.

Identifying what triggers winter allergy and understanding its symptoms is most important. When you are aware of allergy in cold weather and its symptoms, you can work with your doctor to find the best approach towards addressing them.


Mould allergy

Cold weather puts one at a greater risk of developing fungal infections of various types, particularly people with  poor immune resistance. Moulds (fungus) can produce toxins, and thus, cause various diseases. Severe immune reactions that it may cause include- hypersensitivity pneumonitis, sinuses, allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma. The symptoms of mould allergy are sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, cough, postnasal drip, itchy eyes, nose/throat, watery eyes, and chest tightness. If these bothersome symptoms persist, see a doctor.


Pollen allergy

If you have a runny nose and itchy eyes, you may have an allergy. A lingering cold may point to pollen allergies. Among other symptoms of pollen energy are a scratchy throat, a cough, and post-nasal drip. Pollen allergy in the winter season can also cause extreme fatigue and dark circles under the eyes.


Dust mites

Dust mites can give you a lot of trouble in winters. The house dust mite can make one feel as if they have an endless cold or even asthma. Dust allergy symptoms are similar to those of pollen allergies and one can have red, itchy, watery eyes besides runny, itchy or stuffy nose.



Hives are the body's reaction to an allergen which forms a rash. Usually, red, raised bump hives occur on the torso, arms, legs, and other body parts; except for the scalp, the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet. The size of a hive can range from small spots to the size of a mosquito bite to a large patch. These can often cause swelling or puffiness in affected areas. Sometimes, allergic reactions that accompany hives may include swelling of the tongue and throat that interferes with breathing.

At first, you may find it difficult to tell whether your stuffed nose and watery eyes are owing to the allergens or it is a cold or cough. You can easily differentiate the symptoms of a cold or flu from allergies. A cold doesn't last for more than a week’s time but allergies linger for weeks or even months.

The best approach to handle cold weather allergies is to understand what's causing the flare-ups and its symptoms. When you suspect an allergy, fix an appointment with an allergy specialist. Discuss with him the signs you are experiencing and help him determine the allergy offenders.



Read more articles on Cold and Flu.




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  • Adil Haq05 Dec 2013

    Most believe that summer is one of the seasons that bring misery to those with allergies. In fact, the winter months are more severe on sensitive people. As the weather gets cooler and pollen counts decline, allergy seems to cripple more.

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