The signs of Spring: Allergies vs. colds

Runny nose, watery eyes -- 'tis the season for allergies and colds, but how can you tell which one you're suffering from? FOX 10's Linda Williams reports.

- The signs of Spring are popping up all across the valley, but with the blooms, come runny noses, itchy eyes and lots of sneezing.

So how can you tell if the symptoms you're having are a cold or allergies?

Michelle Bishop, an allergy sufferer, describes Spring as "Sneezing, itchy throat, itchy eyes, itchy nose.. sometimes turns into a sinus infection."

This year, for some valley residents with allergies, is a double whammy, says Dr. Natasha Bhuyan of One Medical Group. Spring temperatures arrived early to bring the pollen, while the winter's cold germs are still circulating.

"Generally, we will see the cold in the winter and people with allergies in the Spring, but now pollen is blooming earlier, so we're seeing people coming in.. some people still have cold symptoms and others have allergy symptoms and they don't know the difference," explained Dr. Bhuyan.

Bhyuan says, "A cold is a virus that attacks your respiratory symptoms, whereas allergies are an allergy that your immune system is reacting to."

Both can be treated with over-the-counter medication, but you may want to head to the doctor just to confirm or in a worse case scenario -- dealing with both.

"Our pollen index is pretty high right now and we still have people with circulating cold virus, so people are getting double hit with these," said Bhuyan."

Dr. Bhuyan tells her patients a very basic way to figure it out is like this: if your symptoms are from the nose up, it's allergies. If it's from the throat down, you're likely dealing with a cold.

Online: www.onemedical.com/phx/physicians/natasha-bhuyan


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