Nurse's Notes

Springtime brings about the promise of renewed life. The birds are chirping; flowers are blooming, and yard work needs to be done. Along with the coming of spring comes the beginning of allergy season for so many of us. We wonder if the sneezing is related to the dust in the classroom, illness, or the beautiful blooming trees and growing grass.

It seems like an endless river of sniffles and runny noses. We are transitioning from the cold and flu season into a whopper of an allergy season. All of the moisture and temperature swings we've had mean a leap in pollen counts as the temps warm -- and right now it's those trees which are spewing out those microscopic particles of misery, with the grasses soon to follow. So how do you tell the difference between a cold and allergies? Well, that can be a tough call, but here are some basic guidelines:

Viruses cause common colds, while seasonal allergies are immune system responses triggered by exposure to allergens.

Treatment of a common cold may include rest, pain relievers, and over-the-counter cold remedies, such as decongestants. A cold usually lasts three to 10 days, although some may last as long as two weeks. Treatment of seasonal allergies may include over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays, and decongestants, and avoidance of exposure to allergens where possible. So invest in Kleenex tissues, and put the small packages in your child’s book bag. Treat your favorite teacher with a fresh new box of Puffs.

Stop to enjoy the flowers, but do not smell them.