What causes allergies in cold weather
Allergic rhinitis is caused by the immune system reacting to an allergen as if it were harmful.
This results in cells releasing a number of chemicals that cause the inside layer of your nose (the mucous membrane) to become swollen and too much mucus to be produced.
Common allergens that cause allergic rhinitis include pollen (this type of allergic rhinitis is known as hay fever), as well as mould spores, home dust mites, and flakes of skin or droplets of urine or saliva from certain animals.
Find out more about the causes of allergic rhinitis
Treating and preventing allergic rhinitis
It’s hard to completely avoid potential allergens, but you can take steps to reduce exposure to a specific allergen you know or suspect is triggering your allergic rhinitis.
This will assist improve your symptoms.
If your condition is mild, you can also assist reduce the symptoms by taking over-the-counter medications, such as non-sedating antihistamines, and by regularly rinsing your nasal passages with a salt water solution to hold your nose free of irritants.
See a GP for advice if you own tried taking these steps and they own not helped.
They may prescribe a stronger medication, such as a nasal spray containing corticosteroids.
The Best Research Resources
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
This academy’s website provides valuable information to assist readers determine the difference between colds, allergies, and sinusitis.
A primer guide on sinusitis also provides more specific information about the chronic version of the illness. Additional resources include a «virtual allergist» that helps you to review your symptoms, as well as a database on pollen counts.
American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI)
In addition to providing a comprehensive guide on sinus infections, the ACAAI website also contains a wealth of information on allergies, asthma, and immunology.
The site’s useful tools include a symptom checker, a way to search for an allergist in your area, and a function that allows you to ask an allergist questions about your symptoms.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)
For allergy sufferers, the AAFA website contains an easy-to-understand primer on sinusitis. It also provides comprehensive information on various types of allergies, including those with risk factors for sinusitis.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The CDC website provides basic information on sinus infections and other respiratory illnesses, such as common colds, bronchitis, ear infections, flu, and sore throat.
It offers guidance on how to get symptom relief for those illnesses, as well as preventative tips on practicing good hand hygiene, and a recommended immunization schedule.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
National Library of Medicine is the world’s largest biomedical library. As part of the National Institutes of Health, their website provides the basics on sinus infection.
It also contains a number of links to join you with more information on treatments, diagnostic procedures, and related issues.
Not every cases of rhinitis are caused by an allergic reaction.
Some cases are the result of:
- oversensitive blood vessels in the nose
- an infection, such as the common cold
- overuse of nasal decongestants
This type of rhinitis is known as non-allergic rhinitis.
Sheet final reviewed: 29 April 2019
Next review due: 29 April 2022
How to Stay Healthy, Breathe Easier, and Feel Energetic This Winter
Indoor allergies, freezing weather, less sunlight — winter can make it hard to stay well mentally and physically.
Discover out how to protect yourself against seasonal allergies, the winter blahs, freezing winds, comfort-eating traps, and fatigue this year.
Learn More About the Ultimate Winter Wellness Guide
Sinusitis can be a confusing thing to treat for anyone. Because a sinus infection can be so easily confused with a common freezing or an allergy, figuring out the best way to alleviate your symptoms can be difficult.
Even more challenging, a sinus infection can evolve over time from a viral infection to a bacterial infection, or even from a short-term acute infection to a long-term chronic illness.
We own provided for you the best sources of information on sinus infections to assist you rapidly define your ailment and get the best and most efficient treatment possible.
When to see a GP
Visit a GP if the symptoms of allergic rhinitis are disrupting your sleep, preventing you carrying out everyday activities, or adversely affecting your performance at work or school.
A diagnosis of allergic rhinitis will generally be based on your symptoms and any possible triggers you may own noticed.
If the cause of your condition is uncertain, you may be referred for allergy testing.
Find out more about diagnosing allergic rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis can lead to complications in some cases.
- sinusitis – an infection caused by nasal inflammation and swelling that prevents mucus draining from the sinuses
- nasal polyps – abnormal but non-cancerous (benign) sacs of fluid that grow inside the nasal passages and sinuses
- middle ear infections – infection of part of the ear located directly behind the eardrum
These problems can often be treated with medication, although surgery is sometimes needed in severe or long-term cases.
Find out more about the complications of allergic rhinitis
Symptoms of allergic rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis typically causes cold-like symptoms, such as sneezing, itchiness and a blocked or runny nose.
These symptoms usually start soon after being exposed to an allergen.
Some people only get allergic rhinitis for a few months at a time because they’re sensitive to seasonal allergens, such as tree or grass pollen. Other people get allergic rhinitis every year round.
Most people with allergic rhinitis own mild symptoms that can be easily and effectively treated.
But for some people symptoms can be severe and persistent, causing sleep problems and interfering with everyday life.
The symptoms of allergic rhinitis occasionally improve with time, but this can take numerous years and it’s unlikely that the condition will vanish completely.