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Is your nose stuffed because of allergies or a cold?

By HealthFirst on January 20, 2015 in News, Uncategorized
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You know how crazy winter weather is in Charleston. One day it’s 60 degrees and two days later we’re in the 30’s. These wild temperature swings can cause allergies caused by mold, mildew and hardwoods to spike.

 

If you’re not sure if you have allergies or a cold, here are a few quick tips to help you figure out what’s clogging up your schnoz:

 

  • Consider trying an over the counter antihistamine as a cheap allergy test. Usually the improvement is immediate, but it can take 2 or 3 days to see diagnostic improvement if your symptoms are severe.
  • If you pick a cold medicine, pick one with an antihistamine in it (antihistamine ingredients usually end in the letters “mine”)
  • Any congestion (cold or allergic or other) can eventually lead to a sinus infection. Get an x-ray and an antibiotic if you suspect a sinus infection has developed or your nose has been stuffed up for 10 days or more.

If over the counter medicine isn’t bringing you relief or you’re feeling sinus related pain in your teeth, eyes or ears, it’s time to see a doctor.

 

Remember, these helpful tips for avoiding a cold:

  • Vigorous hand washing is your best defense. Don’t rely on antibacterial lotions.
  • Avoid letting your hands touch your face
  • Be aware that airline travel increases your risk (crowded spaces, re-circulated cabin air)
  • Rest, vitamins, exercise never hurt in keeping your body strong to fight off germs

 

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