When the weather turns cooler, doctors say there are a few things that become more common like seasonal allergies, the common cold and the flu. However, because all have similar symptoms, like coughing and congestion, sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference.
"It's also really important to know which seasons are affecting you because then you can be prepared in advance for that," said allergist Dr. Sandhya Mani.
For seasonal allergies, the red flag symptoms are:
Itchy nose or eyes
Also, chances are you experience these same symptoms at the same time each year. Doctors recommend an allergy test to determine triggers. From there, medication can help manage symptoms.
"The most common fall allergens are weeds," said Mani. "People spend more time in doors as it gets cooler so we actually have more exposure to our indoor allergens and those include dust mites, pet dander and cockroach."
For the common cold, symptoms include:
Unfortunately, treatment options are limited.
"There are some over the counter options to help you supportively, but otherwise it is something that is going to have to take its course," said Mani.
For the flu, again look for the following:
Flu is especially a possibility if you have not had a flu shot. There are some medicines that can help, but only if diagnosed early.
"Many illnesses, especially viral illnesses feel the same. It's important that you go early and get tested because there is a way to differentiate them," said Mani.
Most importantly, always talk to your doctor at the first sign of symptoms. Only your doctor can make a proper diagnosis and guide you through the right treatment options.
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