ZocdocAnswersWhat can cause cold symptoms in my home, but not outside?

Question

What can cause cold symptoms in my home, but not outside?

When my children & i enter my home, our noses run, cough, and some sneezing, with mild sore throat, when we go outdoors the symptoms diminish what could it be?

Answer

Thank you for your question. I recommend you discuss this question with your primary care doctor. The symptoms that you describe are some of the common symptoms that people can describe when they are having an allergic reaction. When the body encounters things in the environment that it is allergic to, it responds by initiating a response to protect the body from what it perceives as a potential danger. More and more people in the developed world are having allergic reactions to different things, and doctors are not exactly sure why. One of the most common responses to an allergen (something in the environment that can cause the body can react to) is a release of histamine. This histamine can cause runny noses, red eyes, sneezing, itching, and coughing. Some people live in houses that have things that they are allergic to, such as cats, dogs, mold, cockroaches, or even just dust mites. Most of us have some or all of these things in our houses, and many of us will react to them. The things you describe are also common symptoms of many other conditions, however, and so one can never be certain without speaking with your doctor and perhaps doing some other testing. Again, please speak with your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.