Treating colds and allergies are difficult this time of year

By Lori Lyle - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's the time of year when many in Kentuckiana are asking, is it a cold, sinus infection or maybe an allergy problem? In this week's check of 'What's Going Around' doctors tell us it could be a bit of each.

Weeds are in the high category this week. Dr. Tim Feger at Family Allergy & Asthma says it's a difficult time to distinguish colds from allergy problems but there are some distinct differences.

Dr. Feger says colds and allergies together come with runny noses and sneezing, congestion and for allergies especially, itchy eyes. But when it's just a cold, other symptoms like a slight fever, body aches and sore throat are common. Dr. feger also says colds tend to subside within seven to ten days and allergies will persist.

Dr. James Brewer with Mount Washington Medical Associates Jewish Physician Group says he's diagnosing a lot of sinusitis this week. The sinus inflammation can be caused by colds, allergies or an infection. Other symptoms include headaches, facial pain, congestion and a slight fever. His advise for short term relief, nasal saline and steam along with over-the-counter sinus medications. If symptoms persist he says it may be an infection that will require an antibiotic or an allergy flare. Dr. Brewer says to truly control allergy symptoms a patient should be allergy tested to find the culprit and appropriate treatment.

Dr. Christina Breit with Dupont Internal Medicine Jewish Physician Group is treating another cold related problem this week. She says patients are experiencing upper respiratory infections with lung involvement. All the cold symptoms are the same as a typical cold but add in a cough and wheezing.

Dr. Breit says if over-the-counter remedies aren't making things better after 72 hours head to the doctor. You may need a prescription inhaler and steroids to clear out the lungs.

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