Why Are My Allergy and Asthma Symptoms Worse in the Winter?

Why Are My Allergy and Asthma Symptoms Worse in the Winter?

The winter season often increases asthma and allergy symptoms for many patients.

According to the CDC, nearly 25 million Americans have asthma, and indoor allergens like dust mites, mold, and pet dander can trigger asthma flare-ups.

The colder winter air and dry indoor heating also worsen symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath for asthma patients.

Allergy sufferers also feel the effects of spending more time indoors during winter, as the same indoor triggers can increase allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, irritated eyes, and sinus pressure.

For those with asthma and allergies, the winter season can pose challenges when managing your health.

However, working closely with your doctor and exploring long-term management options like biologic therapy can help you achieve symptom relief despite seasonal challenges.

Watch the Video: Why Are My Allergy and Asthma Symptoms Worse in the Winter?

Why Allergies & Asthma Worsen in Winter

There are several reasons why cold weather tends to exacerbate these conditions:

Why Are My Allergy and Asthma Symptoms Worse in the Winter?

Increased Time Indoors

Most people stay inside more when the weather gets cold. This means prolonged exposure to indoor allergens like dust mites, mold, and pet dander.

Colder, Drier Air

Cold, dry air can irritate the airways and lungs, making them more vulnerable to inflammation and asthma flare-ups. The cold air causes airways to constrict to maintain body heat. This tightening makes it more difficult to breathe.

Lower Humidity

Winter air lacks moisture and humidity. Dry air further dries out and inflames the airways and sinuses, worsening asthma and allergy issues.

Holiday Triggers

Seasonal celebrations like Christmas and New Year’s often mean fresh-cut trees, scented candles, and other potential allergen sources that can trigger asthma and allergies.

Why Are My Allergy and Asthma Symptoms Worse in the Winter?

Tips to Manage Winter Allergies & Asthma

If you have asthma and allergies, you know how challenging the winter months can be, but there are ways to help you manage your symptoms.

Take Your Medications as Prescribed by Your Doctor

This is especially important during seasons when your symptoms tend to worsen. Don’t stop, increase, or reduce your medications without consulting your doctor first.

Avoid Known Asthma and Allergy Triggers

Keep a journal documenting how specific environments, smells, and substances affect your condition. Pay attention to things like dust mites, mold spores, and pet dander, which can be more prevalent indoors during the winter.

Minimize exposure through cleaning, air filters, and keeping pets out of bedrooms.

Use a Humidifier

Dry winter air can irritate airways and worsen allergy and asthma symptoms. A humidifier adds moisture back into the air and can provide relief.

Bundle Up When Going Outside in the Cold

Cover your nose and mouth with a scarf to warm the air before breathing it in. Try not to spend too much time outdoors when the temperatures are frigid.

Exercise Indoors

The combination of cold air and physical activity can trigger asthma flares. Therefore, try to exercise indoors during winter.

See Your Doctor if Your Symptoms Change or Worsen

Close communication with your healthcare team is vital when managing your condition. Don’t try to power through your symptoms if you notice any new or worsening symptoms. Instead, please inform your doctor about the changes, as they may need to adjust your medications for the season.

Don’t forget to bring up any questions or concerns about managing your seasonal allergies or asthma. Your doctor can provide tips to minimize your exposure to winter allergens and irritants. Working closely with your healthcare provider is vital to safely navigating changes in your health during the winter and throughout the year.

Consider Biologic Therapy

If your allergies and asthma symptoms become difficult to control with your usual medications, talk to your doctor about whether biologic therapy could help. Biologics are a newer class of drugs that target specific parts of the immune system response that drive allergies and asthma.

Biologics work differently than traditional allergy and asthma medicines, targeting the root causes of your allergy and asthma symptoms.

Several FDA-approved biologic medicines can help to reduce asthma attacks, improve lung function, and lessen reliance on oral steroids in people with more severe allergies and asthma that are not well controlled.

Talk to your doctor to see if adding a biologic could be right for you if your symptoms continue despite standard asthma controller therapies and allergy management. Getting your severe allergies and asthma under better control with a biologic can help reduce flares and emergency care needs, improve your quality of life, and allow you to participate more fully in activities.

With the right treatment plan tailored to your specific needs, you can continue to breathe easily and stay active even when the weather outside is frightful. Don’t lose hope. Relief from asthma and allergy symptoms is possible year-round when you proactively approach your health.

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