A Cold or Allergies?

Health officials say flu season is officially over, so why are some people still feeling bad? It's probably not the flu, or a cold, but your allergies. The symptoms of having a cold or allergies are pretty much the same, but it's how long you feel bad, that makes the difference.

Ten-month-old Trenton Barnhart is Michelle Barnhart's first child. She says, "I feel like I'm overcautious, the slightest runny nose, I'm go to the doctor. She had reason to go to the doctor. Little Trenton's congested, has a runny nose, and a fever. "It seems like he's always got the congestion, allergies," Michelle says. Trenton's not alone, other parents are taking their kids to the doctor for the same flu-like symptoms. It's not just little ones who are feeling bad. It seems like everyone's waiting for their turn to see the doctor, in hopes of finding relief.

Dr. Gary Olson says, "Colds usually have some fever associated with them, color in the nasal secretions. People feel bad, but they tend to get over it. A person has a cold a few days or a week and they get over it. Whereas allergies can last 2 or 3 weeks, they don't get real sick, they don't get a fever." People across the Heartland are lining up in doctors offices, thinking they have the common cold, but what they soon find out is it's allergies. "We're getting into allergy season now," Dr. Olson says. "We see the trees pollinating now, the next thing will be the grasses, and that will last into June. There will be a few molds in the summer, then we'll be okay until September when there's hay fever season again.

Like Dr. Olson said, we are right at the beginning of allergy season, but the good news is, there are plenty of over the counter allergy medicines you can take to make you feel a little better. Again, the best way to tell the difference between the common cold or allergies is how long the symptoms last.