Nurse practitioner explains flu vs. allergies

Nurse practitioner explains flu vs. allergies
(Source: WAFF)

(WAFF) - This can be a tough time of year for many and it can be hard trying to figure out if you have the flu or are dealing with the return of seasonal allergies. We got some expert advice to help you tell the difference.

Nurse practitioner Gail Prentice at Physician Care Madison said she is still seeing both A and B strands of the flu. However, 60 percent of her patients this week have been for allergies.

Prentice said if you have a temperature, that's a good indication you have the flu. Also, if you are experiencing not just upper respiratory symptoms. She added it's better late than never to get the flu shot because it could lessen the severity of the symptoms if you get it.

For allergies, she suggests start taking the nondrowsy, over-the-counter antihistamines now. Pollen counts will get higher when it's dry and windy. If you do have bad allergies, the time to avoid being outside is from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., which is the peak pollination time.

"If you get allergy symptoms and it hangs on and hangs on, and it gets into the second week and you're into the third week and you still have the allergy symptoms, you'll want to see your provider then because it will settle in your sinuses, and in children it will settle in their lungs, so you really want to see them then when you've had symptoms week after week," said Prentice.

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