Spring is right around the corner! As with any beginning of a season, there will be new allergens, bacteria, and viruses that make us feel sick. The weather gets warmer, the flowers begin to bloom, animals shed their winter coats, and flu season comes back around. It’s a confusing time of year in terms of general health. And with current events, it is important to pay attention to symptoms and take care of our health properly.
Allergies, the flu, and sinus infections may have similar symptoms but can be identified. Itchy and watery eyes along with a stuffy nose, shortness of breath, and sometimes coughing can frequently have allergies to blame. Allergies are something that cannot be “cured,” but the symptoms can be controlled or diminished with medication. Most allergy medications can be bought over the counter (OTC) at a local drugstore. If you suspect you have allergies, don’t forget to take precautions and notate whenever you begin to feel the symptoms. It is also recommended that an allergy test is taken so you can learn what to avoid.
The flu has fairly identifiable symptoms as well. The most prominent symptoms of the flu are fever and body aches. Other symptoms can include headaches, vomiting, chills, coughing, and shortness of breath. The flu’s symptoms can begin taking effect within 24 hours. The flu is something that just takes time to recover from. The easiest way to feel better is by resting, intaking plenty of fluids, and, if need be, taking flu medications to help alleviate the fever and chills. If symptoms persist or worsen, one should see a healthcare professional.
Sinus Infection Symptoms
A sinus infection may contain properties of both the flu and allergies. Some key symptoms of a sinus infection include facial pressure and pain, headaches, postnasal drip (mucus dripping down the throat), discolored mucus, congestion, and a fever. Sinus infections can feel like allergies because it affects the nose. It can feel tingly in the nose and can sometimes affect the eyes. It can feel like the flu due to the possible headaches and fever. The fever is an indication of the body fighting off an infection. If you suspect a sinus infection is present, you can seek help from an ear nose and throat (ENT) doctor. An ENT can help by putting you on a track that would best help the individual condition. They may prescribe antibiotics, trials of over the counter medications and nasal sprays, prompt a patient to get an allergy test, or suggest a procedure as a more permanent fix. There are some procedures, such as balloon sinuplasty, that can be done in an office setting with very little downtime, and can prevent sinus infections.
Take Action and Enjoy Spring
Regardless of what makes you feel under the weather, it is important to pay attention to the signs and take the steps to get the proper help and care. Don’t waste any more time, and spring into spring! Smell the flowers, soak up the sun, and get out there. Enjoy the changing of the seasons. Don’t let allergies, flu, or sinus infections get in the way and take the time to feel better today.