What are the causes of winter allergies?

Winter allergies give rise to a host of problems like flu, persistent cold, wheezing, asthma and many more health ailments. With the peaking of winters, it is that time of the year where complaints like dry skin, cough and cold, sore throat become common. However, newborn and pregnant women are most vulnerable to the threat of winter and elicit the need to take extra precaution and care. With children, especially, newborn babies, who have under-developed immune systems the threat of winter allergies is graver and elicit the need to take extra precaution and care. Prof (Dr) Brig Ashok K Rajput (Retd), Senior Consultant — Pulmonology, Venkateshwar Hospital explains the causes of winter allergies.

Pollution is undoubtedly one of the leading causes of winter allergies. The low density caused by winter does not allow pollutants to settle down thus giving rise to winter allergies. It should be noted that while cold is a seasonal affair, allergies tend to persist for a longer period, and the only way to prevent them is by identifying triggers and avoid them. Winter allergies can leave the newborns sick with a runny or a blocked nose or a sore throat, itchy and red eyes, sniffling, sneezing and wheezing, among other symptoms. Here’s how to prevent allergic cough and cold in the winter.

Secondly, the presence of mites is another root cause of winter allergies. The dust allergens enter our lungs and can cause congestion. Winter season has also been associated with greater incidence of lung ailments and cardiovascular problems. Due to lack of ventilation, the dust allergens don’t have space to travel around and tend to hover above us inside our homes. The reactions of these allergens can be controlled only if you understand what stimulates these triggers. One should consult a doctor if the symptoms last for more than a week. It is common for an infant to develop cold 6-8 times approximately in a year. That is how they develop immunity. But protecting them with an extra layer of clothing becomes important because they are very sensitive to environmental fluctuations. Also, read about steps to say goodbye to seasonal allergies.

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