If youve ever had what seemed like the flu in the middleon summer, youre not alone. But most likely its not the flu or what isknown as influenza. There really is a flu season (late fall through earlyspring) and although you can experience flu-like symptoms at other times of theyear, its likely some kind of other virus like a cold or it could be allergiesthat have you feeling awful.
The common cold and summer allergies have a lot incommon. They can both cause:
· Runny or stuffy nose
But there are big differences.
A Summer Cold
A cold is a virus and the seasonal difference is due todifferent cold virus strains in summer and winter. Colds are generally upperrespiratory infections occur all year round, but are more prevalent in thecolder months. A simple summer coldusually goes away within about 10 days with or without common cold treatment.The most important precaution, no matter what time of year, is to avoid thespread of the virus by hand washing and not sharing glasses, cups or eating utensils.
Allergies have more watery, runny nose with lots ofsneezing, itchy, watery eyes and can change based on physical location. Thatmeans allegories can improve if you come in from the outdoors and enter an air-conditioned,air-filtered house.
Seasonal allergies, such as allergies to grasses andweeds, also strike about the same time each year (depending on the allergy) andpersist throughout allergy season.
Tipsfor Dealing with a Summer Cold
· Take an over-the-counter (OTC) decongestant tounclog a stuffy nose
· Use a saline spray to irrigate the nose and keepmucus loose
· Take an OTC pain reliever (like Tylenol) toreduce fever and manage pain
· Use cough drops and throat lozenges to managethat pesky dry cough
· Gargle with warm salt water to soothe a sorethroat
· Don't take an antibiotic
· Get plenty of rest and sleep, and avoid strenuousexercise
· Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
· Don't smoke
· Head to the doctor if you don't get reliefwithin two days, or you are wheezing