The age old question……”Doctor, is it a cold or allergies?” As allergists we are frequently asked, “How can I tell the difference between a cold and allergies?” Attached is a link to an article from the Chicago Tribune. In this article several allergists, including our own Dr. Porch-Curren, contributed their thoughts on how patients can help decipher between the two. At Coastal Allergy Care we have patients come in with colds, sinus infections, and allergic rhinitis. What can complicate the problem is when you have allergic rhinitis AND you are getting frequent colds. We see this in children and individuals who are exposed to illness at home or work. Colds and allergy can lead to sinus problems and interfere with ones quality of life. At times the allergies or viral infections can trigger asthma as well. Unfortunately, when this happens in conjunction with a cold it commonly gets labeled as bronchitis. For these reasons it is important to help delineate what is happening. Is it a cold or is it allergies or even better yet do you get both? As board certified Allergists/Immunologists we look at the entire picture. We consider the patient’s history, their physical exam, and family history when deciding how to appropriately evaluate our patients. This evaluation may include allergy testing, breathing tests, XRAY’s/CT scans, and/or lab work to assess your immune system.