Springtime sneezing: It might be allergies, a cold or a sinus infection

Springtime sneezing: It might be allergies, a cold or a sinus infection
(Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Spring in the Ohio Valley can be brutal. If you have a stuffy nose, scratchy throat, your eyes feel like they are on fire ... you are not alone.  Spring allergies can have many of the same symptoms as other conditions like the common cold or a sinus infection.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America ranks Louisville as number two on its list of Spring Allergy Capitals.

If you feel like you have a cold every spring and fall, it could be a sign of seasonal allergies.  Norton Healthcare explains that allergies and colds can trigger sinus infections — congestion can create a breeding ground for bacteria. It is important to treat allergy and cold symptoms to prevent the development of a sinus infection.

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Whether it's a cold, sinus infection or allergies, antibiotics don't help treat these conditions most of the time. Over-the-counter medications like nasal sprays, oral antihistamines and eye drops can help relieve symptoms.

If experiencing allergies, try to limit exposure to known triggers.

Colds and sinus symptoms typically clear up in seven to 10 days. If a cold is lingering longer than 10 days or there are new or worsening symptoms, see a healthcare provider to evaluate your symptoms. Washing your hands or using hand sanitizer can help prevent spreading the bugs that can get us sick.

Here's a symptom checker to help you determine if it's a cold, allergies or sinus infection.

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