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Winter Allergies in Missouri Explained

Learn about winter allergies in Missouri from a board-certified allergist. Dr. Sonia Cajigal sees patients in St. Louis, Missouri and specializes in testing and treatment for winter allergies. Contact us today to schedule your visit!

“This office was AMAZING! I am so very impressed. I have never had more of a thorough doctor. The office staff was great too. I brought a newborn in and they all treated the situation of me having my baby there great. She made sure to lay everything out on the table of what could be the cause of my symptoms. She was so helpful.”

– Rachel M, February 2022

Winter allergies in Missouri explained by Dr. Sonia Cajigal
Winter allergy Doctor Dr. Sonia Cajigal of St. Louis Family Allergy review badges and affiliations

About Winter Allergies in Missouri

Winter Allergies Overview
Winter Allergy Symptoms

Winter Allergy Testing

Winter Allergy Treatment
Allergies are often associated with spring and summer when trees, grass, and other vegetation are releasing pollen. However, certain allergies can persist throughout the Missouri winter when pollen counts are low. Winter allergies are caused by other sources like mold, pets, dust, or dust mites in your home or in other indoor environments that you frequently occupy. These allergies are often referred to as Perennial Allergies because they persist year-round.
Winter Allergy Relief

in St. Louis, Missouri

Woman with winter allergies in Missouri sneezing outdoors

Winter Allergy Symptoms

The symptoms of winter allergies are similar to seasonal allergies. The most common symptoms of winter allergies include any or all of the following:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, red eyes
  • Coughing
  • Itchy mouth and lips
  • Asthma symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, or chest tightness

It’s also possible for winter allergies in Missouri to trigger more severe symptoms, including:

  • Wheezing
  • Hives
  • Worsening eczema
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Upset stomach

Every allergy sufferer’s experience can be unique, and it’s also important to understand that allergies share many symptoms with other common illnesses.

Winter Allergies vs Cold

Winter allergies have many symptoms in common with the common cold, but there are a couple important distinctions. The first difference has to do with duration – a cold lasts three to seven days on average, although symptoms can last up to 14 days. If untreated, winter allergy symptoms will persist for longer than 2 weeks and can continue for as long as you’re exposed to whatever you’re allergic to. Another distinguishing feature between winter allergies and a cold is the color and consistency of the mucus. Colds typically cause thick, greenish-yellow mucus; but allergies tend to cause thin, clear mucus. Colds can also cause fever and sweats, which are atypical for winter allergy sufferers.
See a Winter Allergy Specialist

in St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis woman with winter allergies sneezing indoors

Winter Allergy Testing

Winter allergy testing begins with a detailed medical history where Dr. Cajigal will ask you about your symptoms and when you’ve experienced them. Winter allergies often have a strong environmental component, so details about your home, your work, your pets, and other environmental factors are critical for Dr. Cajigal to diagnose the cause of your winter allergies.

A winter allergy diagnosis can usually be confirmed with a simple skin prick test, but Dr. Cajigal may order other tests as needed if a skin prick test is inconclusive or cannot be performed.

Winter allergies can be caused by one of many distinct allergens, which is why it’s important to get a formal diagnosis from a board-certified allergist.

Winter Allergy Treatment

When your allergist has helped you identify what you’re allergic to, treatment will consist of allergy avoidance techniques, environmental modifications, and medications to relieve symptoms. Depending on what you’re allergic to, allergy shots may also be an option.

Removing Winter Allergens from Your Home

Thoroughly cleaning your home is a good first step to reduce your winter allergen exposure. Be mindful of mold, damp rooms, dust, and pets. Though not exhaustive, the list below provides some of the more common suggestions to minimize mold, dust, and pet dander allergens in your home.

  • Steam clean carpets or remove carpets altogether.
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom to reduce pet dander in your bedding.
  • Keep pets off of upholstered furniture.
  • Consider replacing upholstered furniture to minimize pet dander accumulation.
  • Vacuum with a HEPA filter to reduce dust in your home.
  • Wash your bed linens and pillowcases in hot water and detergent frequently to reduce allergens.
  • Use dust mite proof covers for pillows, comforters, duvets, mattresses and box springs.
  • Regularly clean garbage cans and refrigerator drip pans.
  • Regularly clean your gutters and ensure drainage flows away from your home’s foundation.
  • Quickly clean up any spills, leaks, or messes to prevent mold from growing.

Some of this advice only applies if you have a specific allergy. When you visit us at St. Louis Family Allergy, Dr. Cajigal will provide personalized advice for your unique circumstances.

Winter Allergy Medications

Medications can be used to prevent winter allergy symptoms if taken prior to exposure, and they can also provide relief when a winter reaction occurs. Antihistamines, eye drops, and nasal sprays are commonly used to treat winter allergy symptoms either proactively or reactively. Dr. Cajigal can help you identify which medications are right for you.

Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy)

Allergy shots may be an effective long-term treatment for your winter allergies. Allergy shots are often referred to as a ‘curative therapy’ because they can prevent future allergic reactions and allow you to safely tolerate higher levels of whatever you’re allergic to. Visit us at St. Louis Family Allergy to learn more about this option.

References

[1] American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: https://acaai.org/
[2] Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: https://www.aafa.org/
More Specialties

Asthma

Drug Allergies

Eye Allergies

Food Allergies

Nasal Allergies

Skin Allergies

Allergy Shots

Allergy Testing

Biologic Therapy

Visit Winter Allergy Specialist Dr. Sonia Cajigal of St. Louis Family Allergy in St. Louis, Missouri

Winter Allergy Specialist
Dr. Sonia Cajigal

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"Dr. Cajigal was friendly, professional, and informative. She took the time to explain the tests and what was going on with my allergies. She is so knowledgeable and really cared about how I was feeling. I would highly recommend this practice if you suffer from allergies and asthma."

- Sue D, July 2020

“Dr Cajigal is a great listener. She trusts her patients instead of treating them as if they are not the experts of their own bodies. I really appreciate that (many doctors do not have that quality). She also immediately treats the symptoms instead of waiting to see if things clear. I use her for my children and myself. We have never left her office feeling as if it was a waste of time.”

– Stephanie, August 2020

"Great Allergist!"

- Ann H, December 2018

"She is the best."

- Stephen W, June 2020

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