All Blog Posts

‘Tis the Season for Catching Snowflakes, Not Colds

As we head to family gatherings, sharing meals and sometimes germs, tis the season for sniffles. The team at Harbin Clinic ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) want to make sure you can tell whether your nose is just running from that chilly ride “over the river and through the woods” or something else. As temperatures turn colder, it can often be difficult to figure out what is ailing you. A virus? Chronic allergies? Can you spot the difference?

Just Colder Temperatures:

Did you know that your nose creates moisture for itself when it is too dry? Colder air can pull the moisture away from the inside of your nose causing it to try to compensate by creating moisture or snot. So, don’t assume whenever your nose runs that you’ve caught a virus.

How to know? If you walk inside a warm building and you don’t see a change in your condition, chances are you’re experiencing more than cold weather.

A “Cold” Virus:

Cold weather creates situations where people are more likely to share germs. We are often inside and in closer proximity. Cooler air is also lower in humidity, giving germs the ability to stay in the air longer. With more indoor activity and lower humidity, there’s a perfect storm for viral spread.

How to know? Are you suffering from a runny nose, sore throat, and a cough? When did your symptoms start? A cold can last about 10 days, with a cough lasting even longer. If after 10 days your symptoms are still severe or you are still running a fever, it’s time to call your primary care physician.

Infection or Allergies:

Notice if you have developed fever or facial pain, or do you have continued congestion? If so, you may have a sinus infection. But if you are experiencing chronic cold symptoms without fever, you could also be experiencing allergies or asthma. Many people associate allergies with pollen, outdoor elements, or the spring and summer months, but people are as likely to struggle with allergies in the winter due to prolonged indoor exposure to dust mites, pet dander, molds, etc. If you believe you have a sinus infection or winter allergies, contact Harbin Clinic ENT.

When to see an ENT physician:

At Harbin Clinic ENT, we care for patients in need of allergy management suffering from chronic sinus conditions. But we are also here when patients need surgical intervention for issues such as snoring, ear infections, thyroid disease, and cancers of the head and neck. Harbin Clinic ENT specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of face, nose, sinuses, throat, ear, neck organs, and skull base disorders and conditions. Make an appointment with us if your primary care physician thinks you need further intervention, and we’ll make sure your diagnosis is on the nose.

Published December 7, 2023

My Locations

Your saved providers will appear below.

My Providers

Your saved providers will appear below.