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Though winters in the Naples, Florida, area are typically warm, this doesn’t mean we can escape the common cold. It doesn’t take the chill of snowy weather for common cold and flu symptoms to set in, and these viruses are as common here as anywhere else. Unfortunately, you can’t always be certain that your symptoms are due to a cold. Though you might feel the signature stuffy nose and fatigue of a cold, the cause could be something more persistent, such as poor indoor air quality. Learn how to tell the difference between a cold and something more, so you can tackle your symptoms effectively.
Your Symptoms Don’t Let Up
If you’re dealing with a cold, symptoms should ease within two weeks. Many colds are even shorter-lived, irritating you for only a few days. If your symptoms are just as bad after two weeks as they were the day you fell ill, you’re probably not dealing with a virus. Allergy symptoms will persist as long as the allergens are present. If you’re not cleaning up your home or work environment appropriately, this could leave you with a long-term issue that could linger for months.
Always have a doctor check out any ongoing symptoms. This is the best way to make sure you’re not dealing with a more serious illness than a cold or allergy problem. If your physician indicates that allergies are the problem, start seeking out the irritants that are bothering you, so you can get the relief you need.
You Feel Worse in Certain Areas
Do your symptoms worsen noticeably in different physical locations? If you have a cold, you should feel about the same no matter where you are. Allergies, however, will act up when you’re near the irritant. Pay close attention to where you are when you start feeling worse, so you can focus your cleaning efforts on that area.
If your symptoms flare up throughout a larger area, such as your entire home, it’s time to tackle the air quality. Install a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier as needed to keep the house’s humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent. This will help you control allergens as effectively as possible. Make sure to change your HVAC system’s air filter monthly to minimize irritants. An air cleaner will take your filtration a step further for even more impressive results.
Your Eyes Are Itchy
Itchy eyes are a good indicator of allergies rather than a cold. You’ll deal with congestion, coughing, sneezing, and fatigue with both colds and allergies. However, circles under the eyes and a long-term nasal drip are more common with allergens in the air. A sore throat, fever, and body aches, on the other hand, typically point toward a cold. Analyzing your symptoms closely will provide you with important clues about what ails you.
Cleaning Up Helps
Do you feel better after you come home and change your clothes? Does showering offer long-term relief that lasts the rest of the night? Activities such as these wash away allergens such as pollen that you might collect outside. If cleaning up helps your symptoms, you’re probably not dealing with a cold, but most likely allergies that could be caused by poor indoor air quality. In this case, cleaning the house might offer some relief, as well.
Some effective ways you can remove allergens from your home include:
- Vacuuming the carpet and upholstery with a product that uses a HEPA filter
- Mopping hard floors regularly
- Dusting flat surfaces
- Keeping shoes and jackets out
- Storing items in enclosed boxes or garment bags when possible
- Eliminating clutter that can collect dust and dirt
- Putting allergen-proof covers on mattresses and pillows
- Changing air conditioning filters monthly
- Laundering curtains, blankets, pillowcases, and towels frequently
If you suspect your discomfort is the result of allergens or poor indoor air quality in your home, contact Island Aire of Southwest FL at 239-201-3946. We can help you pinpoint common problem areas and find the right indoor air quality services for your home. With options including humidifiers, air purifiers, ventilators, and more, we can help you tackle any air quality issues you might encounter in the Naples, Florida, area, for the healthy home you need.
Image provided by Bigstock
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