Is it a Cold, an Allergy, or the Flu?
Do you have a Cold, an Allergy, or the Flu?
Sometimes it’s hard to tell.
Each year, millions of work and school days are missed because of colds, allergies, and the flu, especially when heading into their prime season. How you can best treat your condition depends on whether it’s a cold, an allergy or the flu that’s ailing you. Since these diseases share many of the same symptoms, they’re sometimes hard to tell apart.
Complicating the problem, many people get bad allergies in the fall, when ragweed pollen peaks in many areas, and winter can bring its own allergies as people spend more time indoors around pet dander and house dust mites. When the sniffles, stuffy nose and coughing begin, this chart can help you decide how to handle your symptoms.
|Cough||Sometimes||Common, hacking cough||Common, can become severe|
|General Aches, Pains||Never||Slight||Usual, often severe|
|Fatigue, Weakness||Sometimes||Sometimes||Usual, can last up to 3 weeks|
|Itchy Eyes||Common||Rare or Never||Rare or Never|
|Fever||Never||Rare||Usual, High (100˚ – 102˚F), sometimes higher especially in younger children); lasts 3-4 days|
|Duration||Weeks (for example, 6 weeks for ragweed or pollen seasons||3 to 14 Days||Up to 3 weeks|
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatrory medicines
|-Aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen for aches, pains and fever
-Antiviral Medicines (see your doctor)
|Prevention||Avoid those things that you are allergic to like pollen, house dust mites, mold, pet dander, cockroaches, etc.||Wash your hands often
Avoid contact with anyone with a cold
|-Wash your hands often
-Avoid close contact with anyone with the flu
-Annual vaccination aka “flu shot”
-Antiviral medicines (see your doctor)
|-Sinus Infection or Congestion
-Middle Ear Infection
-Can be Life Threatening