Here in Buffalo, NY, harsh winters and piles of snow are the norm. We may suffer from a terrible pollen season, but we’re used to blizzards and we embrace lake effect (or at least we try to!) However, for a small minority of the population, frigid temperatures mean hives and a swollen throat. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a cold allergy. Here’s one Alberta native’s story.

What is a Cold Allergy?

When Arianna Kent was 14 shoveling snow from her driveway, her throat suddenly started to close up. It took her two years to discover the real cause of her suffering, and even now, she ends up in the hospital around once a month when someone opens up the fridge suddenly or cranks up the air conditioning.

This cold allergy is officially known as cold urticaria—a condition in which individuals will break out in hives if exposed to cold temperatures. Cold urticaria only affects about 0.05% of the population, but it can have a massive impact on day-to-day life.

How Do You Cope with a Cold Allergy?

There is no way to cure cold allergies; however, there are a number of ways to treat them.
1. Antihistamines: You can take over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines if you know you’re going to have to go out in the cold. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor will also give you an EpiPen you can use in case of emergency.

2. Preventative Measures: Talk to your physician about ways you can avoid coming in contact with the cold. Make sure you wear temperature-appropriate clothing, avoid ice-cold drinks and frozen desserts, and check the temperature of the water before hopping in the pool. These steps won’t necessarily prevent an outbreak entirely, but if you’re careful, they should help minimize your discomfort significantly.

3. Desensitization: By taking cold showers you can gradually help your body to recognize cold temperatures as harmless. However, make sure to talk to your allergist before considering any treatment options on your own. Anaphylactic shock is a very real possibility and very dangerous.

How Do You Test for a Cold Allergy?

Most people have never heard of cold urticaria, and when they do hear about it, they don’t believe it. In fact, it sometimes takes doctors years to uncover the real trigger. Thankfully,there’s a fairly simple test you can use to diagnose a cold allergy. Simply hold an ice cube to the underside of your arm for four to five minutes and monitor your skin for any abnormal reactions.

Is There Hope?

If you do suffer from a cold allergy, then don’t despair. Many people outgrow cold allergies within a few years and even within a few months. You can also train your skin to become less sensitive to the cold over time so your allergy attacks are both less often and less severe.

Why should you visit an ENT Clinic in Buffalo, NY?

An ENT is a physician trained to diagnose and treat any conditions related to the ears, nose, and throat. If you’ve been suffering from sinus pressure, itchy eyes, or constant infections, it may be time to visit a specialist. Here’s how we can help you at our ENT clinic in Buffalo, NY.

Do I Need an ENT Specialist in WNY for Tinnitus?

Do you hear a constant buzzing in your ears? You may be suffering from tinnitus, which is characterized by a perpetual chirping or ringing in the ears even when no noise is present. Tinnitus is technically a symptom and not a condition, and so there is no cure for it. However, an ENT specialist in WNY may be able to treat the underlying cause, which may, in fact, be an ear infection, hardening of bones in the middle ear, hearing loss, or other related condition.

What To Do If Your Child Has an Allergy

Both children and adults suffer from perennial and seasonal allergies, but they are usually manageable with simple lifestyle changes. Otherwise, we can help. Plenty of children deal with allergies every year; however, if left untreated, some symptoms can lead to more serious conditions.

You Don’t Have to Suffer with Nasal Polyps!

What are nasal polyps? | When chronic inflammation frequently recurs in the nasal cavity, growths can develop on the mucus lining of one’s sinuses. These soft, pale, teardrop or grape-shaped growths are called Nasal Polyposis or Nasal Polyps. While the polyps are painless and range from mild and unnoticed to obstructively large in size, they can block the nasal passageways and cause problems with breathing.
People prone to this condition are those who cope with environmental allergies, frequent sinus infections, asthma, extreme sensitivity to aspirin, and certain immune disorders. Nasal polyps can occur at any age, however they are more common after age 40 and more prevalent in men than women. Children who have cystic fibrosis also tend to experience polyps in their nose.
Nasal polyps can occur in both nostrils or sinuses, and may gradually grow larger.

Pediatric ENT: For Tiny Ears, Noses, and Throats

Pediatric Ear, Nose, and Throat | Your little bundle of joy is unique not only personally but also anatomically. If your child has a terrible case of the sniffles, then you might need a doctor who specializes pediatric ear, nose, and throat disorders. ENTs that specialize in pediatrics will be able to cater to your child’s specific needs.

Allergy Specialists Develop A New Way to Track Pollen

Allergy specialists from Bangor University are developing unique technology that could help Buffalo, NY natives to better understand the pollen forecast.

The ENT May Not Be Able to Cure Your Sinus Infection

Yellow, green mucus, bad breath, congestion, runny nose, facial pain…uh oh, not another sinus infection. Should you head to the ENT, or should you hold out? If you answered the latter, then you’d be correct. As it turns out, there is no sinus infection cure for viral infections, so you’re better off waiting it out a bit.

Top 3 Air Purifiers for Allergies

Buffalo, NY natives know how to brave the tough winter weather, but they don’t always know how to control rough winter allergy symptoms.

How to Get Rid of Allergies With Diet

There are plenty of medications you can use to treat your allergies in Buffalo, NY, but if you
want to know how to get rid of allergies, look at your plate.

What is the Best Allergy Medicine for Me?

Make sure to consult with a professional in Buffalo, NY before heading out to the drug store. While many people do self-diagnose, you’ll really want to make sure before assuming that you’ve found the best allergy medicine on your own. You wouldn’t want to end up with unnecessary complications, and plus, your doctor may be able to provide you with a more effective treatment plan you wouldn’t have found otherwise.