Facts, Prevention, and Relief for February Allergies


Can you get allergies in February?

Yes, you can get allergies in February. In fact, allergies can occur at any time of year, though they tend to be more prevalent in the spring, summer, and fall months. There are a number of different triggers that can cause wintertime allergies.

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For many people, the month of February is a time to enjoy the snow, spend time with family, and celebrate Valentine's Day. But for those with seasonal allergies, this month can be a time of uncomfortable allergy symptoms. In this article, we'll take a closer look at seasonal allergies in February and explore some of their most common triggers and symptoms.

What Causes Winter Seasonal Allergies?

Regardless of whether they develop during February or any other month of the year, seasonal allergies are caused by an immune response to allergens in your environment. While these allergy triggers are harmless, they cause the body to perceive a threat and produce histamines.

Histamines are a natural chemical that helps to protect the body against infection and disease. But in cases where their presence isn't warranted, as is often the case with seasonal allergies, they can produce a range of uncomfortable and even painful symptoms.

Seasonal allergy triggers depend on the time of year. Tree pollen is most prevalent during spring, while grass pollen is more common in summer and early fall. Wintertime allergies are often caused by indoor triggers like dust mites, pet dander, and mold spores, which can become more prevalent when homes are sealed up tight to keep out the cold. However, outdoor allergens like pollen can still be a problem in the winter depending on where you live.

Indoor Allergens

There are a number of indoor allergens that can trigger seasonal allergies, among them being dust mites, pet dander, and mold spores.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are tiny creatures invisible to the naked eye that thrive in warm, humid environments. They're commonly found in homes, particularly in bedding, upholstered furniture, and carpets. Dust mites feed on flakes of human skin that are shed constantly throughout the day.

Pet Dander

Pet dander is a type of allergen that is produced by animals with fur or feathers. It consists of tiny flakes of dead skin cells that can become airborne and trigger an allergic reaction in some people. Pet urine and saliva can also trigger your pet allergies.

Mold Spores

Mold spores are another common indoor allergen that can trigger seasonal allergies. Mold is a type of fungus that grows in damp, dark environments. It can often be found in basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.

Pollen Allergies

There are a number of different outdoor triggers that can cause seasonal allergies, but the most common outdoor allergy trigger is pollen. Pollen is a tiny grain that plants release as part of their reproductive process. Once released, pollen grains can travel long distances on the wind before settling on the ground or other surfaces.

There are many different types of pollen that can cause allergies, some of which are more prevalent during certain seasons than others. For example, tree pollen is most common in the winter and spring, while grass pollen is more abundant in the summer and early fall. 

Cedar Fever

Cedar Fever is a unique type of seasonal allergy that is triggered by pollen from cedar trees. It is one of the most noteworthy wintertime allergies in the United States and tends to peak during December and January.

Cedar fever is most commonly found in the southwestern United States, particularly in Texas. Symptoms typically appear in mid to late winter and can last up to six weeks.

What Are Common Winter Allergy Symptoms?

Winter allergies can cause a wide range of symptoms, some of which are more common than others. Often winter allergy symptoms are similar to other seasons' allergy symptoms. Usually, these symptoms are mild. However, severe reactions can occur. The most common winter allergy symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Congestion
  • Brain fog
  • Hives or rashes
  • Aggravated asthma symptoms

If you experience any of these symptoms and suspect that you may have seasonal allergies, it's important to seek proper diagnosis and treatment. Doing so can help you manage your symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life.

Are Allergies Worse in Winter?

Allergies can be worse in the winter for several reasons. First and foremost, the winter air dries out the mucus membranes in your nose and throat, making them more susceptible to irritation. Additionally, dry air can make your skin itchier and more prone to hives.

Another reason allergies can be worse in the winter is that you tend to spend more time indoors which increases your exposure to indoor allergens. Dust mites, pet dander, and mold spores are all common indoor allergens that can trigger an allergic reaction.

How Are February Allergies Diagnosed?

If you're experiencing any allergy symptoms during the winter, taking an allergy test is the best way to find relief. Understanding what allergens are causing your symptoms will help you find an effective allergy treatment plan to get rid of your symptoms.

There are several different methods of allergy testing available. Traditional allergy testing methods are often inconvenient and uncomfortable. However, easy at-home allergy testing is available through Wyndly. Learn the differences between each type of testing.

Skin Prick Test

When most people think of allergy testing, they think of the skin prick test. A skin prick test involves an allergist pricking or scraping patients' skin with a needle tipped with various allergens.

After scraping the skin, the allergist observes the patient for signs of an allergic reaction, such as itchiness, redness, or swelling. If your body reacts with one or all of these signs, you're likely allergic to that specific substance.

Skin prick testing can be a time-consuming and uncomfortable approach to allergy testing. Identifying an allergist and booking an appointment alone can take several weeks to months. Not only will you have to take this test in person at an allergist’s office, but you’ll have to deal with itchy hives afterward if you end up being allergic to one of the allergens you were exposed to during the test.

At-Home Allergy Test

Unlike skin prick tests, at-home allergy testing kits are more user-friendly and pain-free. Here's how they work:

  1. Order Wyndly's at-home allergy test online. Our CLIA-certified tests are shipped directly to your doorstep.
  2. Take the allergy test and send it back to us. It just takes one quick finger prick test to provide a blood sample. Then, you'll mail it back when you're done.
  3. Receive your personalized treatment plan. Our doctor will interpret your test results, develop an allergy profile, and then meet with you to discuss your personalized treatment plan. An allergy test can reveal the full breadth of your allergies. This way, you know exactly what you're allergic to and how you can treat your symptoms.

An at-home allergy test is a comfortable, simple solution that gives you an in-depth understanding of your environmental and seasonal allergies.

How to Treat Seasonal Allergies in Winter?

If you find yourself experiencing allergy symptoms in February, there are a number of steps you can take to mitigate them and find relief. Below are some of the most effective.

Limit Exposure

The first and most straightforward action you can take to reduce your allergy symptoms is to limit your exposure to whatever is triggering them.

  • Check the pollen count: Before going outside, check the pollen count in your area. This will give you a good idea of how high the allergen levels are and whether it's worth venturing outside.
  • Keep your windows shut: During high pollen days, keep your windows closed as much as possible - both in your home and car. This will help to keep allergens from coming inside and causing symptoms.
  • Watch your outdoor hours: Pollen levels are highest in the early morning and late evening, so try to limit your time outdoors during these hours.
  • Take your shoes off indoors: When you come inside, take your shoes off at the door. This will help to keep pollen and other allergens from tracking through your home.
  • Wipe pets: If you have pets that spend time outdoors, make sure to wipe them down with a damp cloth when they come inside. This will help to remove any pollen or allergens they may be carrying.
  • Clean your home: Vacuum and dust regularly to reduce the allergens that build up in your home. Try to use a HEPA filter to remove allergens from the air.
  • Wash off when you get home: It's a good idea to take a shower and wash your hair as soon as you come inside from a prolonged period outdoors. This will remove any pollen that may be clinging to your skin or hair.
  • Do laundry more often: If you're someone who tends to let laundry pile up, it's time to change that habit. Allergens can cling to clothing, so it's important to wash them frequently. You should also wash bedding in hot water once a week.

OTC Medications

While limiting exposure can reduce your allergy symptoms, certain allergy triggers, like pollen, are nearly impossible to fully avoid. Certain medications can help you temporarily manage your fall allergy symptoms.

  • Antihistamines: Antihistamines are a widely available type of OTC medication that temporarily blocks histamine production. This results in short-term symptom relief from mild to moderate symptoms.
  • Nasal sprays: Nasal sprays can combat runny or stuffy noses by reducing nasal swelling and inflammation.
  • Eye drops: Eye drops can flush pollen from the eyes to provide short-term relief from itchiness, redness, and wateriness.

If OTC allergy medications aren't effective for you, or you are looking for long-term relief, sublingual immunotherapy might be right for you.

Sublingual Immunotherapy

Sublingual immunotherapy provides long-term relief from your allergies. Sublingual immunotherapy, also known as allergy drops or tablets, involves gradually introducing small doses of an allergen into the body. This gradual exposure retrains the immune system to ignore your allergy triggers instead of reacting.

Sublingual immunotherapy is as effective as allergy shots. However, there's no need to deal with painful injections or inconvenient, time-consuming doctor's appointments. You can safely take sublingual immunotherapy from the comfort of your home.

Take Our Allergy Assessment

If you're struggling with allergy symptoms this winter, Wyndly can help. Our doctors will create a personalized treatment plan to get you long-term relief from your allergies.

Take our brief allergy assessment to see if sublingual immunotherapy might be right for you!

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