Sorting through Symptoms. Is it a Cold or Allergies?

allergies, cold, viruses, lethargic, coughing, sneezing, seasonal allergies, allergic triggersPeople usually associate a stuffy nose, sneezing and itchy eyes as the sign allergy season is here. They are the most common reactions associated with allergies.

However, some experience other symptoms which noticeably impact the quality of life but sufferers may not attribute them to allergies.

“A scratchy irritated throat, a dry hacking cough, feeling lethargic or unmotivated and even being unable to perform certain tasks can be related to a person experiencing allergy-type symptoms,” said Ed Neuzil, ARNP, PhD and owner of the Allergy Sinus and Asthma Family Health Center in Lady Lake, Florida. “Often those patients will assume they have a cold and treat their symptoms as such when, in fact, they should be addressing what allergies they may have.”

According to Neuzil, the trick is determining what is triggering your symptoms and then treating it with appropriate therapies which may include antihistamines, nasal steroids, decongestants, immunotherapy or even natural approaches.

He says that if you experience a “cold” the same time every year that could be a clue that you are allergic to something in your environment.

Not diagnosing your potential for allergies can have real costs.  According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergies is the 5th leading chronic disease and a major cause of work absenteeism and “presenteeism” (coming to work when you’re not feeling well and being unproductive). It results in nearly four million missed or lost workdays each year, resulting in a total cost of more than $700 million in total lost productivity.

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