Seasonal cold or seasonal allergies? The answer is not always clear.

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Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat reminds parents symptoms may require a visit to the doctor

A stuffed nose, sneezing, a persistent cough, breathing difficulties— it must be spring. Parents often scratch their heads when a child complains of these symptoms. Are they the sign of a common cold or seasonal allergies? Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) reminds parents it may not be easy to figure out specifically what is bothering a child and whether it requires a visit to the doctor.

“This year is unusual in that allergy season started early because warm weather forced plants to bloom and flower weeks ahead of schedule,” explains Dr. Virginia E. Feldman, MD, an allergy specialist at Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT). “At a time when colds are highly common, children also have symptoms that could be caused by seasonal allergies to grass, weeds, trees, and dust. “A long, dry allergy season like the one we are experiencing this year means that the various allergens remain in the air week after week rather than getting washed away.”

While people think of typical allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes, symptoms also can include headache, lethargy, a scratchy throat, the sensation of a lump in the throat, ear popping, and decreased hearing. More seriously, untreated allergies can contribute to asthma, ear infections, chronic fluid in the ears, enlarged adenoid and tonsils, and sinus infections.

Over-the-counter medications may bring some relief, but a trip to the doctor might be necessary if breathing continues to be difficult or symptoms don’t improve. If allergies are suspected, an allergy specialist can identify which allergens are problematic and how to best handle them.

“Many patients can be managed with medications that help control symptoms,” says Dr. Feldman. “Allergy shots, also called immunotherapy, may be needed against particular allergens if medication doesn’t help. But with proper treatment, allergy symptoms and related complications will be much improved.”

Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat, P.C. is located at 75 Crystal Run Road, Building B, Suite 220, Middletown, NY. For more information, please call 888.350.1368 (ENT) or visit http://www.hudsonvalleyent.com.

About Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat
Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat, P.C., has been redefining the healthcare experience in the Hudson Valley for more than ten years. Its board-certified physicians, supported by licensed audiologists and dedicated staff, have established a reputation for superior care in treating patients with allergies, gastroesophageal reflux, thyroid and parathyroid disorders, hearing and balance disorders, nasal and sinus disease, head and neck cancer, sleep apnea, snoring, and pediatric ear and throat disorders. Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat utilizes state-of-the-art technology to make the patient experience as efficient, comfortable, and caring as possible.

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Kimberly Sawicki
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