Colder weather doesn't mean decline in allergies, experts say

While seasonal allergies may take a break in the winter, indoor allergies start to rise


Many people believe that when the weather turns cold, their allergies will disappear. But winter weather might bring problems to those with indoor allergies, experts say.

“If they have indoor allergens related to animal dander, to the dust mites, and some people have problems with cockroaches, that exposure is just going to be higher and they’ll have more symptoms related to being indoors rather than outdoors,” said Dr. Lily Pien of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

An air purifier can offer some relief, but there is a downside. While the machine cleans the air of impurities, it can make conditions inside your home more humid— a condition in which allergens like dust mites and mold thrive.

When the weather turns cold, it also makes it tough to figure out whether you have an upper respiratory infection or are suffering from an allergic reaction.

“This time of year when people are staying indoors more, viruses are more prone to become a problem, [It] probably would be a consideration for some of their symptoms, so you’re going to want to see, is it really my allergies?" Pien said.

New York City-based allergist Dr. Tim Mainardi told that deciphering between the two depends on your symptoms.

"If anything is itching— throat, eyes, nose— this suggest it's an allergic process," Mainardi said, noting that if the symptoms last longer than 14 days, it is most likely an allergy.

Common symptom of an upper respiratory infection would include body aches and a fever, according to Mainardi. A respiratory infection does not occur as a reaction to an irritant.

If you have any doubts or if you are concerned about any symptoms, consult your doctor.