When your “cold” is actually allergies

Around this time last year, mommy dearest started getting frequent colds. She would feel like she was coming down with something; malaise, cough congestion, sneezing. She was treated a few times by her PCP for an “upper respiratory infection”, and when she described her symptoms to me, I agreed with the diagnosis. However, after feeling better for a few days,  poor mom would come down with yet another “cold”.

Then her PCP then decided to try another approach, and prescribed my mother an antihistamine… and ta-da! All cured. I’m surprised it took so long to figure out she might have been suffering from allergies. Probably because she’d never had seasonal allergies before, and so many of the symptoms overlap.

So how do you know if it’s allergies or a cold? Actually, I was going to write a whole article on this, but my friend who is also a blogger and ALLERGIST, already wrote a great article about this (click HERE). Thanks, Dr Gupta!

But to give a one-liner: if your symptoms seem worse depending on the environment, if you are experiencing itchy or runny eyes, and seems to occur around the same time every year…it may be allergies! Be cautious about self-diagnosing and treating with OTC allergy meds, especially if you are elderly. Talk to your doctor about what treatment is right for you!

In the next post we’ll overview how to treat sinus congestion/ congestion…stay tuned 🙂