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Is It Seasonal Allergies or a Cold?


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Seems like these days, allergy season just doesn't want to take a break. It used to be easy to predict when it would hit, but with the weather acting up, it's become quite unpredictable.

 

According to a recent article in The New York Times, pollen seasons are starting about twenty days earlier in sixty different spots across the country compared to before. So, that "cold" you're dealing with might just be those pesky allergies instead of a proper viral infection.

 

Now, telling the difference between a cold and allergies can be a bit tricky. Both can give you a runny nose, congestion, and a cough that doesn't seem to do much. But if you're feeling more tired than usual, have a scratchy throat, or a slight fever, then it’s likely a cold.


 

On the other hand, if your eyes are itchy, you can't stop sneezing, and you're not feeling feverish or worn out, well then, allergies might be the culprit.


Woman with allergies

 

If you think it's allergies acting up, here are a few things you can try.

 

First off, let's talk about what's going on inside your nose. All those allergens and pollens are causing your nasal passages to swell up and produce more mucus than usual. To calm things down, try sleeping with your head propped up a bit – it helps with drainage.

 

Staying hydrated is also crucial. When that mucus gets thick, it can be pretty uncomfortable. So, drink plenty of water and increase the humidity in your space.


 

Over-the-counter meds can be helpful too. Claritin or Zyrtec can work wonders without making you feel drowsy. But if you don't mind a little drowsiness, Benadryl's another option. And for taming inflammation and swelling in your nose, Flonase might just do the trick.

 


Senior couple in bed with tissues

Now, Afrin – that stuff's like magic for congestion, but be careful not to overdo it. Stick to the recommended dose, and don't use it for more than a few days.

 

And if you're thinking about taking Sudafed, just remember, it can have some side effects, especially if you have high blood pressure.

 

So, there you have it – a few tricks to help you deal with those allergies and get back to enjoying life without all the sniffles and sneezes

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