With all of the weird weather we’ve had this year in the late winter and early spring, it’s no shock that people are walking around sniffling and sneezing. But, given the warm temperatures many saw in February, many trees and grasses started blooming early. What that means is pollen season started early. And, what THAT means is spring allergy season started early.
So, is your sniffling and sneezing the result of a cold or is it allergies?
The symptoms of seasonal allergies are remarkably similar to cold symptoms. Both colds and seasonal allergies cause cause congestion, sneezing, and runny nose. And, both can keep you from sleeping better. However, treatment of colds and allergies can differ.
Here is a list of differences that will help you tell the if it’s the nasty yellow-green dust that’s making you feel bad, or if it’s a virus:
• Cold symptoms generally last seven to 10 days. Allergy symptoms will last as long as you’re exposed to the allergen.
• Colds and flu are often accompanied by body aches and stiffness. This is not a symptom of seasonal allergies.
• Seasonal allergies often cause itchy eyes. This is rarely a symptom of colds and flu.
• Probably the biggest tip-off is fever. If you are running a temperature, then you have a cold or flu. Seasonal allergies do not cause fevers.
If you determine that you have a virus, the best treatment is rest and fluids, but see your doctor if your symptoms persist. If you suspect you have seasonal allergies, there are many over-the-counter remedies these days. If those over-the-counter remedies don’t work, it might be time to visit your local allergist for a consultation.