In the dead of winter, sneezing and sniffling come as no surprise to most of us – it’s cold and flu season.
What if those lingering symptoms aren’t from a cold at all? And does it really matter what’s causing your stuffed-up nose and watery eyes as long as you can find some relief?
Well, yes! Knowing the source of your symptoms will help you take appropriate steps to care for your health and feel better.
Is it a cold?
If you come down with the common cold, a virus, your symptoms will typically come and go within 7-10 days. Colds are contagious, passed through the air by coughing and sneezing, and also through touch.
Is it allergies?
Allergy symptoms are more persistent, often hanging on for weeks or months, and are triggered when the immune system has an adverse reaction to specific substances or allergens.
Taking a closer look at your symptoms could provide some clues.
|Itchy, watery eyes||Rarely||Often|
|Runny or stuffy nose||Often||Often|
Treating a cold
If it looks like a cold, several over-the-counter medications can help alleviate symptoms:
- Cough syrups
- Decongestant sprays
- Pain relievers
- Multi-symptom cold medicines
In addition, other remedies include drinking plenty of fluids, using saline nasal sprays, gargling with salt water, and using a humidifier.
If allergies are the culprit, some find short-term relief with antihistamines.
Long-term, many patients find they need assistance in identifying what triggers their allergies and a tailored treatment plan to manage and control allergies.
Wishing you good health this winter. If you find yourself battling winter allergies, schedule an appointment to explore treatment options.