Learn the difference between colds and allergies.Spring and fall are my favorite seasons, but allergies seem to hit me each
year. Without medication, breathing can seem difficult. Colds are just starting to spread here and I'm not sure if I have
a cold or allergies. Have you found yourself in this situation? Both of these seasons are peak allergy times when pollen counts
Differences in Symptoms
With allergies you'll have a thin watery discharge from your sinuses. A cold will start out with a clear discharge, but
eventually it will turn thick and yellowish green. Both conditions will cause sneezing. Some symptoms are different for the
cold and the flu. With a cold you will usually have a low grade fever, possibly achy muscles, and fatigue.
With allergies you may have itchy eyes, ears, nose and throat. I've even had an itchy face. Allergies shouldn't give you
a fever. I've known people with severe allergies though that have run a fever with them. Not only having sneezing, but sneezing
spells are common with allergies. Wheezing can also be present with those prone to asthma. Red itchy eyes often accompany
What are Seasonal Allergies?
Allergies are a reaction of the immune system to a common substance that it thinks is dangerous to your body. Usually
these are proteins (antigens) that your immune system thinks are bacteria or viruses. Seasonal allergies are usually from
plant pollens, grasses, or trees.
Not only can allergies cause sinus problems and red watery eyes , but seasonal allergies can cause a disturbance in sleep,
coughing, asthma, plugged ears, ear aches, mucus in the throat, concentration problems, headache, itching, hives, and irritability.
Dealing with Allergies
Sorry to say, but there isn't a cure for allergies. Many medications are available. If your allergies are severe, your
doctor can test you and shots are available. The injection will be tailored exactly for your needs. Testing can be expensive
as can be the shots. Most insurance policies will cover the cost. For some this still isn't enough to completely control the
If you have asthma, be sure to visit your physician. Asthma is characterized by breathlessness and wheezing. This can
be dangerous if left untreated. On rare occasions, asthma can even cause death.
For sinus problems, you doctor may suggest Nasacort. This is a cortisone based spray that you'll spray in your nose once
a day. It will help the inflammation in your sinuses.
If your allergies aren't severe, it may be better to treat them with over-the-counter medicines. Many are available. Benadryl
is a good place to start, but it isn't potent enough for many. Benadryl will make you drowsy. They are a good alternative
to take before bedtime.
Stronger drugs are available such as Zrytec and others. Antihistamines have been developed that don't cause the drowsiness
associated with allergy medications. You may try some of these or ask your family doctor for something stronger. Always contact
your doctor before taking any new medications to make sure that they won't interact with other drugs you may be taking.
Staying inside with closed windows is helpful. Using an air filtration system helps too. Most of us do need to leave home
though, so we'll need more help. Change your clothing after being outside for extended period. Have someone else mow the grass.
Wash your hair often since it can hold pollen.
All of these ideas will help improve your allergies, but nothing will completely get rid of them. Some years are worse