Is a Winter Cold or Winter Allergies?

winter allergies or winter cold why are you sneezing

 

Have you had sinus congestion, sneezing or wheezing since last fall?  Does it seem that you’ve got a cold that just won’t go away or just keeps coming back? Every year kids get blamed for bringing home a constant stream of colds from school or daycare and making everyone in the house sick, but the real culprit may be winter allergies; not recurring colds.

Winter Cold or Winter Allergies?

It’s easy to think that you’ve got a nasty cold that you just can’t shake.  Sometimes it’s hard to figure out if its cold or allergies.  How do you know?

Fever.  The first sign of a cold is a fever.  So take your temperature.  A cold will cause a very mild fever.  Flu will cause a high fever.  Allergies will never cause a fever. If you have a fever you don’t have allergies.  If you don’t have a fever, then you may have allergies.

Symptom Onset.  Another difference between winter allergies and winter colds is how the symptoms appear.  Allergy and flu symptoms come on suddenly.   Cold symptoms come on gradually, usually starting with a sore throat.

Duration.  With colds, allergies and the flu, the symptoms last for different periods.  A winter cold will last anywhere from 7 to 10 days, whether you treat the symptoms or not.  After a week and a half, your symptoms should be subsiding.  The symptoms of the flu last longer and can leave you feeling weak for weeks.  Allergy symptoms will not go away until you remove the offending allergen or stop the action of the histamines and leukotrienes. If you’ve had symptoms for weeks, it is probably allergies.

Common Winter Allergens

When you think of seasonal allergies you probably think of hayfever in the spring or fall.  kids get winter allergies tooPlants are the major source of outdoor allergens in the warmer months, but indoor allergens cause problems in winter.   This is because doors and windows are closed, reducing fresh air and increasing allergen levels and we spend more time  inside.  Dust mites, molds and pets are the most common indoor allergens.

To learn more about these allergens and how to reduce or eliminate them from your home, read our article Can’t Shake that Winter Cold?  It May be Winter Allergies.

Til Next Time!

Cheryl

Allergy free living - allergystore.com

PS – Get your free copy of Cheryl’s book “You Can Do It! Allergy Free Living”. Click here to download.

The Art of Staying Warm – A Winter Bedding Primer

Staying warm at night is tough.  Pile on too many layers and you sweat. Toss off the layers and then you get clammy.  Don’t use the right bedding and you curl in a ball, shiver, and sleep in 3 pairs of socks.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  Just use the right winter bedding to hit that sweet spot.  Not sure what to use?  Check out this summary of different types of winter bedding.

winter bedding on bed

Silk

Silk is one of man’s oldest textiles.  Thanks to industrious silkworms we’ve been wrapping up in silk for centuries.

Silk is body temperature regulating.  When its cold outside it will keep you warm,  when it is warm it will keep you cool.  Silk is a favorite of people with allergies because it naturally resists dust mites.  It’s a favorite for battling symptoms of menopause because it adjusts with your body.

Woolwool makes naturally allergy-resistant bedding

Mary had a little lamb and it kept her warm at night.  Wool has been used by many  cultures to keep cozy.  Wool wicks moisture away, so it keeps you cool if you sweat.  And wool does not lose its insulating properties when it gets wet.  Most other natural materials won’t keep you warm if you are damp, but wool is water resistant.

Wool is also naturally resistant to dust mites and bacteria.  It does contain lanolin; and for some people this is a problem.  But, if you are not allergic to lanolin and feel comforted by a heavier material, wool may be right for you.  Be sure to check care instructions before you buy.  Some wool like the organic Merino wool comforter must be dry cleaned.  Other wool, like the Shropshire wool comforter is washable.

Down

Soft as a downy chick.  If you want soft, fluffy, and warm you want down.  Like wool, down captures air in the small spaces within the feathers and between the fill.  This air cold your body heat in and keeps you warm.

Down does not have the weight of wool, so it is much lighter on you while you sleep.  It will also conform to every curve of your body, cradling you in warmth.

Down can cause problems with allergies.  If you have dust mite allergies, you might want to look for an alternative.

Down Alternative

Speaking of alternatives, down alternative winter bedding is very popular.  You find Primaloft® down alternative bedding in the finest hotels.  You also find it at The Allergy Store.  It has all the benefits of down without the allergies.

Complete Information on Winter Bedding

For more detailed information on winter bedding check out our article The Art of Staying Warm.  Of course you can always call 800-771-2246 or drop a comment here and we’ll be more than happy to answer your questions.  No matter what fill material you choose, we always suggest that you cover your comforter with a zipper cover to keep it fresh and make keeping it fresh easy as washing the cover.

Til Next Time

Cheryl
Allergy free living - allergystore.com

PS – Get your free copy of Cheryl’s book “You Can Do It! Allergy Free Living”. Click here to download.

Kick the Winter Skin Care Blues with These 3 Tips

3 Winter Skin Care Tips
Got the Winter Skin Care Blues

Old Man Winter got your skin singing the blues?  Restore your skin to its spring and summer luster with these 3 winter skin care tips.

Winter Skin Care Tip 1 – Exfoliate

Great skin in the winter starts with getting rid of the old and encouraging the growth of the new.  Exfoliate regularly.  Exfoliate more than just your face.  Use scrubs on the face and body to stimulate circulation and cell growth and remove dry, dull dead skin cells.    Make scrubs at home with products found in every kitchen.

Winter Skin Care Tip 2 – Bathe Differently

Skin care in the winter is different than the rest of the year.  You need to use cooler water, pat your skin dry and change your bathing patterns.  It’s not necessary to bathe your entire body every day in the winter.   Avoid products with lanolin, fragrance, dyes,  parabens and formaldehyde.  All of these ingredients can irritate already dry and angry skin.

Winter Skin Care Tip 3 – Use Moisture Properly

Well moisturized skin starts on the inside. Drink water. Drink lots of water.  If you drink alcohol drink even more water.

Apply moisturizer immediately after bathing.  Pat skin dry and then apply a generous layer of moisturizer.

Apply moisturizer after you wash your hands; every time you wash your hands.

Use lip balm or moisturizer on your lips each and every time you go outside.

Keep moisturizer by the bedside and apply each night before you go to bed.

Pick a moisturizer that is skin-friendly.

Want to know more?  Read our entire article on Winter Skin Care and don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have questions.  Winter won’t last forever.  Before you know it those short sleeves, short hems, and spring styles will be coming to the stores.  Make sure your skin is ready.

Til next time!

Cheryl