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Is it a cold, or allergies?
Don’t you hate those fall colds?
Coughing, sneezing, runny eyes — only it may not be a cold at all.
There’s a good chance you’re really suffering allergic rhinitis or hay fever.
According to www.pollen.com, Southwest Nebraska is at a medium risk for allergies, with ragweed, nettles and chenopods the top risk. Allergies are worse as one travels to eastern Nebraska, and worse still southward into Kansas.
Warm, windy days like we’re experiencing now make allergies worse, but warm, moist conditions can also harbor mold spores, another cause of allergies.
If over-the-counter antihistamines don’t seem to help, check with your healthcare provider about shots or immunotherapy.
Otherwise, keep your windows closed and run the air conditioner, both in your house and in your car, day and night, and change your furnace filter, both for cleaner air and better efficiency.
Exercise outdoors in the morning before the pollen has been stirred up, and when it comes time to rake leaves, wear a mask or persuade someone else to do it.
When you’re done working outdoors, shower and change clothes as soon as you can to keep pollen and other irritants out of your furniture and consider using a saline nasal rinse.
Whether it is truly a cold, or “just” allergies, there’s not much we can do about it other than treat the symptoms.
Following some of the experts’ suggestions can help alleviate the discomfort and let us enjoy the fall weather.