Q: My allergies often feel worse after I've been outside in chilly weather. How does the cold affect allergies?
A: Most of us feel sniffly after being outside in the cold for too long. But for allergy sufferers, the combination of the cold and allergy symptoms can be a double whammy. The cold weather doesn't actually cause respiratory allergies, but by replicating allergy symptoms of congestion and runny nose, it can make your allergies feel even worse.
Breathing cold air causes nasal congestion in two ways. First off, the cold air affects an important body defense mechanism called mucus transport, which stimulates an increase in mucus production. In plain English, the cold makes your nose run