Looks like we’re in for an early spring in the northeast, which, for allergy sufferers can mean a season of potential misery since trees start pollinating earlier. It’s easy however, to confuse seasonal allergies with a cold, as many of the symptoms overlap making it often hard to know what you’re suffering from.

Let’s figure out how to tell the difference.

Spring allergies or a cold?

Here are some basic differences:

  • Typically allergy symptoms include itchy, red watery eyes, runny nose, rapid sneezing clear mucus, and allergies-or-coldsometimes even asthma symptoms.
  • Colds often include most allergy symptoms but can also sometimes include a low grade fever, a hacking cough, muscle aches and chills and mucus is usually thick and yellow.
  • Duration: A cold normally does not last as long as  allergies can. Typical colds last between 5 -10 days. Allergies  can go on for weeks and sometimes even months if not treated.

You can control allergy symptoms, to a certain extent

There are preventative steps you can take to prevent allergies from taking over your life during the high pollen and mold season, such as:

  • remaining indoors on high pollen count days
  • using your air conditioner when indoors rather than opening doors or windows
  • taking frequent showers when coming in from outdoors
  • while in the car, using the air conditioner to filter pollen rather than opening windows.

Sometimes, however, you may need to turn to medications for allergy relief.

Over the counter nasal sprays such as Nasonex or Zyrtec often work, especially if administered a few weeks prior to allergy season, or drugs such as Clariton, Allegra or Benadryl can often do the trick.

If you suffer from allergies or a cold, relief awaits. See your doctor or here at AFC Urgent Care West Hartford the Providers are standing by to help diagnosis and treat whatever ails you.