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How can my recurrent cold be treated?

Q: I am a 25 years old male who gets frequent cold, at least once in a month. I get cold with running nose, watery eyes and congestion. I have dust allergy too. Whenever I eat chilled food items the next day I get cold. Are there any tests to identify the reasons for my cold? How can I prevent it?

A:Antihistamines may help your symptoms, particularly if they are intermittent. Another approach would be regular preventive use of a nasal steroid spray such as fluticasone or beclometasone, with anti-allergy eye drops. If the symptoms vary with your environment, they are likely to be due to allergy, which can be checked with skin-prick tests or blood IgE (RAST or CAP tests). Recurrent upper respiratory virus infections may cause similar symptoms with no link to environment. They may still be helped by nasal steroids, even if not allergic in origin.

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