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Posted: 2019-01-11 15:50:00

Unfortunately, for many people, the winter can be a terrible time for allergies. But since winter is "cold" season, how do you know if your nasal problems are from an allergy or a virus?

One of the great things about winter is that there’s no pollen in the air. All the leaves have fallen off the trees, and the grass is brown and may even be covered with snow, allowing sufferers of hay fever a reprieve from their nasal symptoms. So, you may be asking, “Why am I having constant sneezing, and my nose is itching and running during the winter months? How can that be?”

Unfortunately, for many people, the winter can be a terrible time for allergies. But since winter is “cold” season, how do you know if your nasal problems are from an allergy or a virus?

[See: 8 Surprising Facts About Asthma and Seasonal Allergies.]

Here are some ways to help distinguish whether you have a virus or an allergy:

— Viruses may be associated with fever, while allergies never result in a fever.

— Viruses produce colored mucus from the nose, while allergies cause clear drainage.

— Viruses typically don’t have any eye symptoms, while allergies may produce watery, itchy eyes.

— Viruses may lead to sore throats and body aches, while these are not seen with allergies.

— Viruses are short-lived, usually lasting up to two weeks, while allergies may last throughout the season or longer.

If your symptoms suggest that you are miserable from a winter allergy, what could be the cause? According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, these are some of the most likely culprits:

— House dust mites: These pests are barely visible to the naked eye and grow in carpet, bedding and upholstered furniture. In the winter, they die, and their decomposed body parts and feces can trigger allergy symptoms.

— Animal dander: Your cat or dog can cause year-round allergy symptoms, but these may be more noticeable in the winter when you spend more time indoors.

— Mold spores: Like pets, molds can lead

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