The sniffles are a common sign of the onset of a cold coming on, but with summer around the corner, how can you tell the difference between a summer cold or allergies? We asked an expert.
The Symptoms Are Similar
According to Dr. Alisa Hideg, of Group Health's Riverfront Medical Center, "post-nasal drip, scratchy throat, headache, and congestion are common symptoms of both colds and allergies. Fever with or without body and muscle aches often happens with a cold, but never with allergies." She continues, "If you have mold allergies, rain in the spring may cause your allergies to act up."
Viruses Versus Allergens.
Keep in mind that colds are caused by viruses. Allergies are caused by substances the body perceives as a threat and hence called an allergen.
Dr. Randy Wexler, assistant professor of family medicine at the Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, "A cold is a cold is a cold, regardless of when one suffers from it."
Prevention And Treatment
Cold-prevention tips are important year-round, even when the sun is beating down. "The most important precaution is hand-washing, and not sharing cups or utensils," says Wexler.
Other home remedies include hot tea with honey for a sore throat, and savory soup and hot, steamy showers to open up the nasal passages.