Winter Allergy Relief: Tips and Strategies for Managing Symptoms

winter allergy relief

The winter season is upon us, and with it comes a slew of seasonal allergies. As the weather gets colder, many people’s noses begin to run, their eyes begin to itch, and their skin breaks out in hives.

Allergies are caused by an immune response to a substance that is harmless to most people. Some people are genetically predisposed to allergic reactions, but environmental factors such as pollen count, temperature, and humidity also play a role in the severity of the allergy.

Allergies typically occur during springtime when trees, grasses, and weeds release pollen into the air. Once the pollen is inhaled into your nasal passages, it causes irritation and swelling, which causes mucus production and congestion.

The following five reasons will help explain why you may have more allergy symptoms during winter than any other time of year:

Pollen Counts Are Higher.

Pollen counts are usually highest in the spring — but they’re not dead in winter. For example, there’s more pollen in the air when temperatures drop below freezing than when they hover around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). This is because as plant cells freeze, their cell walls burst and release all their moisture and pollen into the air, according to Dr. Michael D. Smith of The Allergy & Asthma Network (TAAAN). This can also happen when plants’ leaves get wet from rain or snowmelt, which can produce more pollen than if they were dry because plants produce more pollen when their leaves are wet than they do when they’re dry, according to a research review published by Robert Wood Johnson Medical School researchers in 2008.

Dry Air

Dry air can make the mucus lining of your nose inflamed, leading to increased sensitivity to allergens. This makes you more susceptible to pollen and other airborne particles that trigger allergies.

Stuffy Nose

When your nose is stuffy from inflammation caused by dry air, breathing through your nose becomes harder. This irritates your nasal passages further, leading to sneezing, coughing, or wheezing as part of an allergic reaction.

Allergy Medications Wear Off Quickly in Winter

Allergy medications take time to kick in and start working. If you’re taking medication daily, it may even wear off before you get home from work or school. This is because these drugs need to build up in your system over time before they can help you feel better. So if you take them as soon as symptoms begin, likely, they won’t be effective for several hours or even days later. This is especially true if your allergies have been constant throughout the year, meaning that your body has become accustomed to them and doesn’t respond as quickly anymore.

Cold Air Can Irritate Your Lungs and Sinuses

Cold air can irritate your lungs and sinuses. In addition, the cold air we breathe during the winter season causes our nasal passages to dry. This can be very uncomfortable, especially if you’re feeling run-down or tired.

Related : 5 Natural Cures for Allergy Season

Winter Allergy Relief

The best way to deal with allergies is to prevent them. Here are some tips to help you stay healthy:

Avoid Triggers

The first step in reducing your symptoms is avoiding your triggers. If you know what caused your allergies, avoid it. For example, if your nose gets stuffy when you’re around cats or dogs, don’t spend time with pets. If you know what causes sneezing fits and watery eyes, avoid those things. If you know that pollen makes you miserable, take steps to protect yourself from it. Here are some tips:

Identify Your Allergens

Knowing what you’re allergic to can help you take steps to avoid exposure to those allergens. An allergist can perform testing to identify your specific allergens.

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Keep the Air Clean

Use an air purifier to remove allergens from the air in your home. Be sure to clean or replace the filter regularly. Clean your home and change your bedding often. Dust mites, which are microscopic arachnids that feed on human skin cells, like to hang out in bedding. You can also buy special covers for mattresses and pillows that trap dust mites.

Keep Your Home Clean

Regularly dust and vacuum to remove allergens from surfaces and floors. Consider using a damp mop or cloth to pick up allergens, as dry dusting can release allergens into the air. Dust, dirt and other allergens can build up in your home over the course of the year. If you have allergies, it’s important to keep your home as clean as possible. This can be especially important during the winter months when people tend to stay indoors more.

Stay Hydrated

Dry air can irritate the respiratory system and worsen allergy symptoms. Drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways to help keep your nasal passages moist and healthy. Dry, stuffy noses are one of the most common symptoms associated with allergies and drinking water will help prevent this from happening. It can also help reduce the amount of mucus that builds up in your nasal passages.

Use Over-the-Counter or Prescription Allergy Medications

Antihistamines, decongestants, and other medications can help to relieve allergy symptoms. Talk to your healthcare provider about which medication is best for you.

Try Natural Remedies

Some people find relief from allergy symptoms using natural remedies such as butterbur, quercetin, and bromelain. However, it’s important to note that these remedies may not be effective for everyone and can have potential side effects.

Final Thought

Seasonal allergies can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. Unfortunately, little can be done to cure seasonal allergies totally, but there are several natural methods that you can employ to help reduce allergy symptoms. These remedies can help you live allergy-free during the year’s most pollinated seasons.