What Are Winter Allergies?

Most people don't associate winter with allergies, as our Allergist at Arkansas Otolaryngology Center reminds us, allergies can still persist during the cold months. Even though freezing temperatures bring an end to seasonal pollen allergies, many people suffer from winter allergies because of the time spent indoors during cool weather. So, what causes winter allergies? A home can actually contribute to sickness due to winter allergens, especially molds, dust mites, and pet dander

Forced-air furnaces circulate airborne dust containing lint, fabric fiber, bacteria, food material, and pet dander. Three of the most common allergens - house dust mites, pet dander, and cockroach droppings - are worse in winter when there is less ventilation.

Pet dander is one of the common causes of winter allergies

Some common symptoms of indoor, winter allergies include:

  • Sneezing

  • Runny or stuffy nose

  • Coughing

  • Postnasal drip

  • Itchy eyes, nose, and throat.

More arid climates have very low levels of dust mite allergens due to the lack of relative humidity, which is necessary for dust mite survival. In these areas, the predominant winter indoor allergen is either pet dander or cockroach allergen—however, using a humidifier could create a viable environment for dust mites in the home.

Watch for an increase in allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, wheezing, and itchy, watery eyes. For treatment of winter allergies and for more information, contact our Allergist in Little Rock at Arkansas Otolaryngology Center.