Is It a Cold, or Do You Have Winter Allergies?


It happens every year, the persistent sneezing, runny nose and sore throat — a cold you struggle through all winter. However, you could be misdiagnosing yourself. These symptoms are also signs of allergic reactions to dust mites, pet dander and mold.

The Difference Between a Cold & Allergies

Time. Colds will end after 3-7 days, it’s not likely that right after you recover from a cold you will get another. It isn’t the quickest solution, you want to feel better as soon as possible whether it’s a cold or allergies.

Do you have summer allergies? The summer irritants like pet dander and mold are all caught indoors during the winter, so there are no open windows to circulate air. This could mean your winter allergies might actually be worse than in the summer.

Winter Allergy Triggers

  • Pet Dander. The chilly weather doesn’t allow much for you pets to run around outside, that means more of their fur will be trapped in your house.
  • Mold/Mildew. Yard waste like wet, decaying branches and leaves provide a breeding ground for mold that will cling to you shoes and clothes to hitch a ride inside.
  • Temperate Climates. If you live in an area that doesn’t have a lot of freezes during the winter, allergens will not get trapped under a layer of ice or snow

As well as keeping your home, clothing, bedding and body clean, take antihistamines and use a nasal sprays or eye drops if you feel they help ease symptoms. Stay hydrated, cranking up the heat to keep warm and blowing your nose all day will dry your body out. Drink plenty of water and eat water-rich veggies; tea is a great option with the side benefit of steam that will help a sore nose.

Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City provides wellness testing for individuals, including screening for most major health risks. There are no doctor’s orders, appointments, or insurance needed to visit our facility for accurate lab testing.

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