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Health Tips & Topics

Spring cold? Or spring allergies?
May 30, 2018

Now that winter has ended you can say goodbye to cold season, right? Well, not so fast. Winter is the peak time for colds, but springtime runs a close second.

COLDS

Colds are viruses. You can probably feel a cold coming on a few days before it’s in its full blown state – that familiar little “tickle’ in your throat usually indicates it’s starting. Then comes the runny nose, red eyes, sneezing, congestion, sore throat, cough, greenish or yellowish nasal discharge, head or body aches, lethargy and sometimes fever.

The cure for colds? There isn’t one, but treat the symptoms:

  • drink hot water with honey
  • use a saline nasal spray to keep your nose from getting too dry
  • ibuprofen or acetaminophen for painful throat
  • increase fluids
  • get plenty of rest

ALLERGIES

Environmental (seasonal) allergies like pollen, dust or ragweed peak during spring or fall when pollen counts tend to be at their highest levels. Symptoms of seasonal allergies consist of itchy, scratchy eyes and nose, congestion, sneezing, watery eyes and stuffy, runny nose.

Get Relief Fast!

  • start your allergy medication before your symptoms begin
  • try using an air purifier indoors
  • wear sunglasses outside to protect your eyes from irritants
  • use eye drops
  • keep your windows closed
  • take a shower before bed

So how do I know the difference between colds and allergies?

  • Nasal allergies affect about 10-30 percent of adults, colds affect pretty much everyone
  • Duration - colds last about a week, allergies more than two weeks and quite possibly a few months intermittently during the whole season
  • Clear secretions with allergies, opaque (often green or yellow) with colds
  • Itchy eyes and nose with allergies
  • Usually no fever with allergies
  • Colds are contagious, allergies are not

Whatever the ailment, consult with a physician for a diagnosis and treatment in the fastest, most efficient way possible with St. Luke’s Care Now and Video Visits.