Most of the times, so-called “seasonal” allergies comes with winter. Did you ever wonder why this is so? Are you allergic or that’s just a cold? In this article, we will share surprising facts about being allergic or having a cold, as well as things that you should care about during the winter.
The air inside our homes contains a huge amount of microscopic particles, many of which often trigger allergy symptoms throughout the year.

Are you allergic or it is just a Cold?

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), shows in research that 70% of allergy sufferers have symptoms of allergy throughout the year which means that they don’t just have seasonal pollen allergies. If someone is prone to summer allergies, he or she is likely to experience symptoms of allergies in the winter as well.

However, most of us don’t know the potential allergy triggers and tend to attribute the symptoms of winter allergy to the cold virus. Waking up with a sore throat or a runny nose in winter is considered as a cold - not allergy. The first thing to recognize whether you are having a cold or you are allergic is noticing that how long the symptoms last. Cold symptoms are mostly at their worst in the start, but taper off after a few days; but in case of allergy symptoms, they can persist for weeks with slight to zero change.

What Causes Allergies in winter?

In winter, as the temperature falls, we start spending most of the time indoors. This is when we experience indoor air pollution or airborne allergens.
Here are 5 surprising things that may trigger allergies during winter especially in holidays;

1. Wood Smoke

You should know that wood smoke is not a single cause of allergies, but it can irritate your lungs and make the impact on other symptoms even worse. If somebody around you has allergies or asthma, try to use gas fireplace instead of a wood fire (which is cosy plus safer to boot.)

2. Holiday Decorations

In the case of artificial trees, it depends on how you store them. Dust mites on these trees are a source of triggering allergies. It is better to seal your festive decoration items in closed boxes during off-months.

3. Scented Candles

Aromatic candles, sprays and deodorizers contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and tiny particles that may trigger allergic symptoms. Try saving the real candles for special events and decorate your house with flameless candles.

4. Freshly-Cut Boughs and Trees 

Some people are allergic to the evergreen trees, though few may react to the terpenes that give boughs their fresh scent. On the other hand, Christmas trees have a tendency to harbour the mould spores. So, if these trees sit longer outside, there are more chances to attract mould.

5. Dry Air

In our homes, turning up the heat also makes the Winter drier. As the humidity decreases, your throat and nose become more prone to irritation, resulting in sensitivity to airborne allergens.

So keep checking the humidity in your home and if it drops below 35% (check via thermostat or hygrometer). Also, consider installing a Furnace humidifier in order to regulate humidity.

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