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Cold Allergies: Definitions, Diagnosis, Treatment, Co-existing

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Having a chronic condition presents many challenges. From the onset of symptoms, to the sometimes elusive diagnosis to management and coping with the condition; sufferers have many battles to contend with. When it comes to cold allergies, one battle is acknowledging and accepting that the condition represents a new normal.

After months of reactions, having to leave school three to four times a week, seeing doctors of multiple specialties, being laughed at and ridiculed, and realizing that there was no cure, we had to accept that this was our new normal. – R. C.

Parents of children with cold allergies traverse emotions of empowerment, hope, doubt, grief, determination and acceptance.

Once a diagnosis is made, the invidual can begin on a journey toward coping, healing and redefining who they are inspite of their condition.

Even though most people have never heard of a cold allergy, the condition is quite common in its acute form.  However in its chronic form, it is considered rare.

Our goal is to bring awareness to cold allergies, their treatment and provide support for those affected.  The hope is to expedite diagnoses, find better treatments and improve living & work conditions.

Information on this site is not intended for self-diagnosis.  Please seek support from your physician for testing and diagnosis.


Nuggets of Wisdom

Yes, there is such a thing as having an allergic type reaction to temperatures. This is defined as a physical urticaria. Other physical urticarias include Solar, Aquagenic, Pressure, Vibration and Exercise.

Most reactions are pseudo-allergic. By definition, an allergy involves inhaling or consuming an allergen. Physical urticarias have no known allergen. Despite the terminology and medical definitions, systemic reactions can be life threatening.

Cold has an arbitrary definition based on an individual feeling. For a person with a cold urticaria, cold can be defined as any temperature cooler than their own body temperature.

You do not have to be cold to have a reaction to the cold; contact with cold can trigger a reaction.

You can have an allergic type reaction to both cold and heat simultaneously.

Most reactions considered anaphylactic are really anaphylactoid by definition.

Moving to a warmer climate as a treatment for Cold Urticaria is a myth. Warmer climates present their own issues for those with Cold Urticaria.

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