Winter Allergies Vs. Traditional Colds December 23 2016

In the cooler months, there are allergy triggers that will cause symptoms that mimic a common cold. Sometimes it's hard to tell if it's allergy, or a cold virus. However, once you know - it's easier to formulate a long-term action plan to manage your discomfort.

The top triggers for winter allergies are:

The Weather & Temps:  in Texas, we periodically have a hard freeze, but we have a year-round presence of allergens like pollen and spores.

Pet dander: as dogs and cats have more fur to stay warm during the cooler months, they exfoliate more often leaving more pet dander.

Dust, Mold and Mildew: With damp weather outside, and lots of holiday decor being brought out and put away - the winter months brings lots of opportunity for mold, mildew and dust.

How can you tell if it's allergy or virus?

You may think it's funny, but it's SNOT: Yep it sounds gross. You'll have snot either way - but if your nasal secretions are clear, it's likely allergies causing the problem and not a viral or bacterial infection - which usually results in yellowy or green secretions.

Discomfort:  Colds usually make you feel achy all over, where allergies result more with itchy, watery eyes.

Duration: Colds last a week or two, and allergies linger on for weeks and weeks.

What can be done for colds and allergies?

Well, there isn't much to do for a virus but allow it to run it's course. There are lots of holistic and over-the-counter medications that will help you feel better during the run of the cold virus. A bacterial infection would benefit from a round  of antibiotics, which would shorten the time you are sick and hopefully reduce the symptoms a bit.

For allergies, there are long-term medications and treatment options available - but proper diagnosis and a thorough understanding of what you are allergic to and your triggers is imperative.
Schedule a visit with Dr. Schroeder to learn more about whether you are being plagued by allergies and let us help you create a long-term solution and management plan to help you feel better NOW.