Colds are often thought of as a winter illness, but they can happen any time of the year. And because their symptoms are similar to seasonal allergies, they can often be confused.
Some of these symptoms are:
- Runny nose
Katie Schill, nurse practitioner with Palmetto Health’s Mobile Clinic, offers some tips on how to tell the difference:
Allergies tend to include sneezing, a more watery nasal discharge and itchy, watery eyes. If your symptoms change with a change in location, for instance from inside to outside, then you likely are suffering from allergies.
Seasonal allergies also tend to happen at the same time each year; whereas, colds can happen any time of the year.
Cold symptoms, whether in the summer or winter, tend to last approximately 10 days.
So, when should you see a provider?
- Symptoms are getting worse
- Cold symptoms won’t go away after two weeks
- Fever for three days or more
- Seek immediate care for shortness of breath or chest pain
Allergies and colds can be managed with over-the-counter medication; however, if your allergy symptoms are not relieved by over-the-counter medication and are impacting your ability to carry out daily activities, see your provider.
For same-day care for minor illnesses such as colds and allergies, visit Palmetto Health’s Mobile Clinic.