When cold weather is more than a nuisance
While allergies can definitely have a debilitating effect on the life of anyone who suffers from them, preventing symptoms typically means limiting your exposure to dust mites, pet dander or pollen. But for some people, preventing an allergic reaction can be a much bigger production.
A rare condition called urticaria causes its sufferer to develop hives and other allergy symptoms because of exposure to the cold. Dr. Bill Lanting, an allergist from the Asthma and Allergy Center of the Rockies told ABC.com that, like other allergies, the condition varies in severity from patient to patient.
"Exposure to cold or literally holding a coke can or ice cube can set off the mast cell, so if you’re exposed to cold at a certain temperature, you can get hives. Hives you can deal with using Benadryl, but if it’s severe enough it can cause throat swelling and breathing problems," he told the source.
Individuals who have this condition must be careful to cover their skin when going outside, since direct exposure to cold air can cause an allergic reaction to occur. The condition can also be controlled using a daily antihistamine.
While cold urticaria is extremely rare, seasonal allergies and indoor allergies are much more common. Simple items like a respirator mask for cleaning can make all of the difference for people dealing with allergens in their home. Many allergy sufferers find relief from using a whole house air purifier as well. Speak with your doctor about measures that you can take to limit your symptoms.