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How can persistent cold and flu be managed?

Q: I am a 47 years old man suffering from sneezing, watery eyes, rhinitis and congested nose. Throughout the year I have cold and flu. I underwent an X-ray of my nose twice and the report came normal each time: PNS (OM View) - maxillary and frontal sinuses are clear, nasal septum lies in the midline. My eosinophil count varies from 3 to 5%. How can persistent cold and flu be managed?

A:From your symptoms it seems you have rhinitis which could be non allergic as your eosinophil count is normal. But sometimes even in allergic rhinitis, the eosinophil count may be normal because of use of medication like cetrizine. Since you sinuses are clear you can be treated medically. Depending on the severity, different combinations of oral antiallergic (cetrizine, levocetrizine or fexofenadine) and intranasal steroid help in relieving the symptoms. Intranasal steroids help in reducing the inflammation and thus the blockage. Taken under medical supervision at a dose which just controls the symptoms, intranasal steroids are safe and very little of it is absorbed in the blood. Antiallergics control the symptoms of running nose and sneezing. Intranasal antiallergic sprays and certain anticholinergic nasal sprays are available which are also helpful in controlling the runny nose. Last but not the least, protection from allergens (dust, pets, mite, and cockroaches) moisture and dampness and sudden change of temperature and strong smells also helps.

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