Is it a Summer Cold or Seasonal Allergies? 2020
According to ENT specialists, when you come across anything that you are allergic to such as pollen, dust mites, animal dander, foods, or drugs, your body considers the allergen as an “invader” and reacts by releasing chemicals, like histamines, to fight the foreign substance. Histamines are what cause your sinus, nose, mucus membranes to swell leading to the common symptoms of allergies such as with sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes.
Allergies are considered a major cause of illness in the United States with as many as 50 million people suffering from allergies. Allergy season tends to hit it’s summit in April and wind down into May, although it may last much longer. Since cool weather may last into those months, pollination will happen later and drag the allergy season into the summer months or longer.
Contrary to popular belief, seasonal allergies do not just strike in the spring and fall months. Allergies are also common in the summer and can even last year-round for some sufferers. The most common allergy triggers during the summer months are grass pollen and mold spores. Adults that have never had allergies before can fall victim this summer. The sudden adult onset allergies can be easily mistaken for a cold. Cold and allergy symptoms can often mirror one another but you can help rule out having a cold or allergies by asking yourself the following questions:
- Have your symptoms lasted for two weeks? If the answer is yes then you likely have allergies because colds are not as persistent as allergies.
- Have your symptoms escalated? If your symptoms have evolved then you might have a cold because colds usually start with a stuffy nose, throat irritation, and a low grade fever before evolving into sneezing, a runny nose, and thickening mucus.
- Do you have an itch or wheezing? Itchy eyes, throat, and nose along with sneezing usually means that you have allergies.
- If you also have asthma then you might be more likely to have an allergy as an estimated 75 to 80 percent of individuals with asthma also have an allergy.
- What is the color of your mucus? While an increase in the production of mucus can be a sign of either allergies or cold, a change from clear or colorless to cloudy or discolored mucus is more likely indicative of a cold.
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