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Can't stop sneezing or coughing? Congested? Can't breathe? Is it allergies or a cold? Welcome to springtime in beautiful Louisiana!

I feel like crap, how can I tell if I'm suffering from allergies or have a cold?

Let's face it, if it can grow, be it virus, plant, mold, or bacteria, it grows in Louisiana and then some. The folks at Zyrtec, Mucinex, NyQuil, and Claritin must have a special love for the people of Louisiana. After all, we're probably responsible for their family vacation each year. Here it is, only February, the temperature is in the 80s and soon everything will be blanketed in a sickly coating of yellowish/green pollen. That'll happen after one more vicious cold snap if history repeats itself. So that begs the question, do I have a cold or am I suffering from allergies?

First, a cold is an infection caused by a virus. Allergies are caused by your body's immune response to allergens. Both have symptoms that mirror each other like coughing, sneezing, congestion, runny nose, sore throat, etc... However, allergies, more often than not, produce itchy, watery eyes. If you're running a fever, then it's not allergies. That doesn't mean it's a cold, but it does mean you have an infection of some kind that your body is trying to fight. I found this handy guide online and I thought you'd appreciate it since so many folks around here are suffering right now.

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