If you have seasonal allergies that peak in the spring and summer months, you may feel confused when symptoms like itchy eyes and sneezing strike during the winter. Shouldn’t seasonal allergy sufferers expect relief instead?
Southern California remains relatively warm year-round, and this means hay fever symptoms might not subside when winter arrives.
Allergy and immunology specialist Ulrike Ziegner, MD, and the team at Riviera Allergy Medical Center in Redondo Beach, California, encourage patients who are experiencing hay fever symptoms in the winter months to schedule a visit with us for an evaluation.
It’s important to confirm your diagnosis so you receive the right treatment and the best care possible. Dr. Ziegner investigates your symptoms and determines the best course of action to alleviate bothersome allergy symptoms.
Winter allergies in California
Allergic rhinitis, better known as hay fever, refers to symptoms such as a runny nose, nasal congestion, and itchy eyes. It’s frequently caused by an allergy to grass pollens that are released into the air during the spring and summer.
Allergy sufferers in colder climates often find that their symptoms improve during the winter months. This is because plants go dormant, causing pollen levels to drop. As the plants begin producing pollen again in the spring, symptoms return.
Average winter temperatures here in Southern California range between 55 and 65℉. This means that some plants may not go dormant and may continue producing pollen, making winter allergies common.
In fact, Southern California often experiences high pollen counts in December and January. What’s more, just as certain types of pollen levels decline, other weed pollen may increase, causing problems throughout the winter and into the spring.
If you experience allergy symptoms throughout the winter, it’s best to work closely with an allergy specialist to get your symptoms under control so you find relief during the colder months.
Other causes of winter hay fever symptoms
Some people experience allergic rhinitis symptoms year-round. The symptoms are easily mistaken as a virus or the common cold. The most common cause of winter hay fever symptoms is the house dust mite. These microscopic mites can be found anywhere people live.
House dust mites are present all year, but people may experience more symptoms in the winter months when dust mites tend to increase in numbers.
Molds also peak during the winter seasons, in particular with high humidity and mellow temperatures, often in poorly ventilated spaces, like bathrooms and closets.
There are numerous strategies for reducing exposure to house dust mite and mold allergens, but additional treatments are frequently required to relieve symptoms.
Outdoor and indoor molds peak during the winter months In Southern California.
Managing winter allergies
Having an effective treatment plan to address your allergy symptoms during the winter months is key to getting the relief you need. Your specific plan depends on your symptoms and the exact cause of your allergies.
There are some steps you can take to alleviate winter symptoms if you have indoor allergies to things like dust mites and pet dander. They include:
- Vacuuming regularly using a vacuum with a HEPA filter
- Washing bedding weekly in hot water
Access the care you deserve when you need it most. Trust the Riviera Allergy Medical Center team to help you keep troublesome allergy symptoms at bay so you can do more of the things you enjoy with less hassle.
To discuss your winter allergy symptoms and for a comprehensive evaluation, call our Redondo Beach, California, office to schedule a visit with Dr. Ziegner today. Say goodbye to winter allergies!