Having a runny nose and scratchy throat can take all the fun out of summer. You may have sneezing fits and feel run down. Instead of having fun in the sun, you might just feel like laying in bed all day. But a lot of people that feel like this in the summertime often question if these symptoms are actually a cold or not. Getting sick in the summertime may seem odd but it’s not impossible. But your symptoms could be coming from another culprit. Allergies. Here’s some information that may help you determine if your summer sniffles are a warm-weather cold or an allergic reaction to post-spring pollen: Might Be a Cold If…
- Your symptoms go away in less than two week’s time.
- You have a cough.
- You have a fever in addition to your other symptoms.
- You’ve recently been in close contact with someone else who has similar systems.
- The mucous in your nose and throat is a yellow or green color.
Might Be Allergies If…
- Your symptoms last longer than two weeks.
- Symptoms seem to worsen out of nowhere. For example, you go outside and you immediately begin sneezing.
- You never have a fever.
- Your eyes are itchy and watery.
- The mucous in your nose and throat is white or clear.
No one wants either a cold or allergies in the summer. Allergies can be especially misery inducing because they never seem to go away. However, if your symptoms do fall more into the allergy category, there are a few steps you can take throughout the rest of the summer to keep your suffering at a minimum. 1. Avoid Your Triggers - If you know the source of your allergies, avoid them. If you’re allergic to pollen, be sure to limit your time outside. When you do go outdoors, try to avoid the times of day when pollen is at its highest - between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. and again at dusk. 2. Keep Your House Closed - Late summer is a time when it’s particularly enticing to open up your windows and doors to let the outside air cool your house. But this will usher pollen into your home, causing your symptoms to skyrocket. Keep windows and doors closed and use air conditioning to cool the house. 3.Protect Your Bed - Use allergy protection products to protect your bedding and mattress from pollen and other allergens. These products include pillow protectors, mattress encasements and hot water washable pillows. Using these items will prevent you from inhaling allergens while you sleep. 4. Shower in the Evening - Even if you shower in the morning, it will be helpful to get a second shower in the evening. If you’ve spent any time outside, a shower will wash away lingering allergens, ensuring you’ll have an allergy-free sleep. A warm shower will also help alleviate sinus pressure and congestion you may be feeling. Whether your symptoms are from a cold or allergies, we sincerely hope you start feeling better soon so you can enjoy the last month of summer symptom-free!