What Is a Summer Cold?
A summer cold is simply a common cold you catch during summertime. Many people believe you can only catch a cold during winter. This is because many viruses fail to thrive in the heat. However, colds caused by the enterovirus can spread and infect people in warm weather. Enteroviruses are the most prevalent viruses. They are commonly spread by coming into contact with saliva or other secretions from an infected person. Children are most likely to get infected.
Summer colds and seasonal allergies look very similar. So, the allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers are here to help you distinguish between the two. Once you know your condition, you can seek appropriate treatment.
Determining If It’s a Summer Cold or Seasonal Allergies
Summer colds and allergies share some of the same symptoms: sneezing, runny nose, congestion, and an itchy or sore throat. A cold will also include other symptoms like coughing, sweating, and fever. In most cases, the nasal discharge will be different as well. Nasal discharge in seasonal allergies is usually clear while a patient with a cold produces green or yellow mucus. The exception is with a sinus infection. Allergies that cause a sinus infection may produce green mucus.
The onset of symptoms also differ. With colds, you’ll likely experience the onset of each symptom at separate times. With allergies, you’ll experience all or most of them at once. Also, symptoms brought on by a cold are short lived while allergies last as long as the individual is exposed to the allergen. We recommend seeking allergy treatment from a Board Certified Allergist.
Treating a Cold Vs Seasonal Allergies
Most summer colds resolve on their own. With hydration and rest, you can expect to recover within 10 days. If your cold lasts longer than two weeks, seek medical treatment. Though rare, enteroviruses can cause serious illnesses including pneumonia and polio. People most likely to develop a more severe disease are those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, newborns, and malnourished children and adults.
If you suffer from allergies, you’ll need ongoing treatment to soothe your symptoms. Antihistamines are available for mild symptoms. Ask one of our allergists which medication is best for your symptoms. We also recommend allergy shots for moderate to severe allergies or if you want to stop taking daily medication for allergies even if for only a few weeks a year. Call (212) 686-4448 to get started today!