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Differentiating a Cold From Fall Allergies


influenzaWhen your child is wheezing and sneezing, and complaining of a runny nose—it’s often hard to differentiate a cold from allergies in the fall.

Kids are exposed to flu and cold viruses every day—when they play outside or play with other kids at school. The challenge is sorting out when nasal congestion is the flu vs. seasonal allergies—especially when they suffer from allergies, or worse, asthma.

Even though it’s often hard to know if it’s a cold, sinus infection, or allergies after the first few sniffle due to similar congestion and nasal symptoms, you can often tell allergies from a cold by the presence of the following symptoms:

  • Sneezing
  • Itching
  • Watery eyes

It’s more often than not a cold if symptoms include:

  •  Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • General lethargy or fatigue

The problem that occurs in kids with asthma, when a minor cold can spur a serious asthma attack—one where over-the-counter cold and flu medications won’t do the trick.

Allergists recommend a proactive approach to get you through spring and fall to relieve nasal congestion:

  • If your child is short of breath after activities, get them tested for asthma
  • Get them tested for seasonal allergies by a doctor or allergist
  • Start them on an over-the-counter medication in the spring when symptoms are minor
  • Fill a prescription medication back up for when symptoms worsen

 

Source: Fox Atlanta

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