If you have noticed a runny nose in the middle of summer, you may be wondering if you are suffering from allergies or developing the early symptoms of a cold. And is there anything worse than a summer cold?

Viral upper respiratory infections occur frequently during the summer, but so do seasonal allergies. It can be hard to decipher which you are suffering from—especially since they both have similar symptoms.

What are the Differences?

There are a few distinct differences in symptoms that can help you better decide whether or not you have cold or summer allergies. A few things you can look for include:

1. The Common – These include post-nasal drip, scratchy throat, frequent headaches and even congestion. These are common for both summer allergies and a cold.

2. Fever – If you have a fever, you are not suffering from allergies; instead, you likely have a cold.

3. Body Aches – In most cases, body aches appear with a cold and rarely with allergies. The only time a person may experience body aches with seasonal allergies is after a serious reaction.

4. Discolored Mucus – If your mucus is not clear or colorless, then you may have a cold rather than allergies.

5. People – Have you been around anyone that is sick? If so, then you may have caught their cold as well.

6. Length – Seasonal allergies stick around all summer long, while a simple cold will last you anywhere from three to fourteen days. So if you are still suffering two weeks later, then you may have allergies.

If you take an over-the-counter seasonal allergy medication and your symptoms subside, then it is most likely allergies that have been plaguing you.

Got Summer Allergies? Avoid the Triggers

In the summer there are specific triggers out there that can affect a person only during the warmer months. These are things like pollen and weeds, which are in full swing in the middle of the summer. If you are allergic to grasses, then these can also irritate your seasonal allergies. You may find relief from daily medication or just avoid the outdoors as often as possible during high pollen counts.

Tired of Allergies? Get Treatment

If allergies are ruining your summer or even bothering you year-round, perhaps you need a better treatment than over-the-counter medications. An ENT Doctor Joshua P. Light MD can help alleviate those symptoms via immunotherapy, which helps your body better deal with allergens and avoid the symptoms in the future.

If you have seasonal allergies, contact Dr. Light today for a consultation. We can assess the type of allergies you have and go over the best course of treatment so you can get back to enjoying the summer—without the watery, itchy eyes, and cold-like symptoms.