It seems that all three are rearing their ugly heads these days, so how do you know what you have and how to treat it?
Allergies DO appear in the winter, against popular belief. You can present with sneezing, itchy watery eyes, a drip into your throat and congestion. If your normal allergy medicines do not seem to control these symptoms, see your dr., as these symptoms can ALSO be related to other health problems as well.
Colds can come in all shapes and sizes. From sore throats, coughs, sneezing, congestion, sinus pressure, runny noses, a cold can present very differently in various people. We are told we should let a cold run its course. Antibiotics won't work. Rest, fluids and over the counter medicines to relieve symptoms are your best bet.
The flu can come on with similar symptoms to both of these, however, it tends to come on much more strongly and suddenly. It can be accompanied by all over body aches and pains, as well as a fever. It usually also presents with extreme fatigue. If you feel you have the flu, see you dr. so you can receive treatment in the first few days in an attempt to alleviate and shorten the duration of your suffering. The flu can last much longer than a standard cold or virus and can have the person run down for a week to two weeks, depending on the severity.
Rest is key. Staying home and not spreading the flu to others is strongly recommended by health care professionals.
Medical offices are currently overloaded during this busy sick season, so don't run to the dr. right away if you only have a minor cold or allergy attack. However, if you do believe you have come in contact with the flu, and have same, get treatment sooner than later.
Over the counter medications work wonders to alleviate symptoms of colds, viruses and allergies. Get plenty of rest and stay hydrated. Time is your best friend at getting over the illness and back to good health, so be patient.
Spring should be right around the corner and hopefully will bring brighter days and healthier times for all!