Allergies or Cold?
Allergies or Cold?

Although allergens are present all year round, allergy sufferers find the spring, summer and fall months especially troublesome.

Many people who are experiencing sneezing, runny nose and congestion may think they have a common cold, but they actually could be suffering from allergies. It is believed that 35 percent of the U.S. population has some form of allergic rhinitis says Dr. Richard Bass, professor of otolaryngology at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.

Dr. Bass says susceptibility to allergies is genetic and usually runs in families. There is no cure, but there are ways to manage and treat the condition. The first way is to take steps to identify and avoid the allergy triggers. Dr. Bass recommends shots or medications for individuals whose allergies are not improved by basic treatment options.

Anyone suffering from allergies should see their primary care physician, who may refer them to an allergist for further evaluation and possible treatment.