Richmond, VA—It can be difficult to determine whether a case of the sniffles and congestion are the result of allergies or a cold. Local doctors offer advice on telling the difference, and how to best treat either malady.
A transition happens every years during the first few weeks of March, as cold and flu season winds down and allergy season begins. Doctor Patrick Woodward says that during this time of year, a mix of patients is battling either a cold or allergies.
Some symptoms point directly to a cold, while others usually mean allergies: "If they've got sneezing, it's allergy, if they've got congestion and coughing and aching then a lot of time it's end of the winter colds," advises Dr. Woodward.
He also warns that the sneezing will probably increase, as allergy season is just beginning.
"Even though we haven't seen all the pollen on the cars and green dust and stuff, pollen counts are really spiking now from the trees."
If someone can't tell if they are suffering from a cold or allergies, a trip to the doctor can help clear up any confusion. Doctor Woodward says, generally, over-the-counter medicines can offer relief.
"A lot of symptoms and the way we treat them overlap between colds and allergies; anti-histamines like Clairtin, Allegra, Zertac, Benedryl will help to control congestion in either one. Some decongestants like Sudafed if you have a runny nose will also help."
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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