When to See a Doctor for Your Sniffles

With the weather fluctuating between freezing nights and 70 degree days, its no wonder so many of us are dealing with what seems like a never-ending case of the sniffles this month. As you go through your third box of tissues for the week, you might be asking yourself if it is time to head into the doctor’s office for some relief.

Here are some clues to help you decide when enough is enough:

  • Do you have a fever? A fever is usually a good way to tell the difference between allergies and something that needs medical attention. While children often get fevers with colds, most adults do not. So if you have a fever, you might want to get checked out.
  • Do you have pain? If you have tooth pain, pain around the eyes or cheeks, or generalized facial pain when you lean forward, you might have a sinus infection and should make an appointment to be seen.
  • How long have you been sick? Colds typically have a few days of moderate drainage, followed by congestion that lasts about a week. Sinus infections tend to last much longer, and should be brought to your doctor’s attention if they worsen or don’t improve over time.
  • Are your symptoms different when you are outdoors or indoors? Seasonal allergies are kicking in throughout the southeast, and many indoor allergens are at their peak after the winter months had homes closed up tight. If you notice your symptoms improve or worsen when you go outside or are inside, chances are you are having allergy issues, and should see an specialist if over the counter medications don’t bring you relief.

While the above are some good guidelines to help you decide if you should seek medical attention, your doctor’s staff are always happy to guide you if you have concerns.

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