Doctors seeing increase in patients with fall allergy symptoms

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Fall allergy season is here and doctors say they're already seeing many patients suffering from symptoms. Doctors want to make sure you know the difference between allergies and a cold, because many of the symptoms can be the same.

"They can start anytime really between mid-August through October, so it’s several months that patients can have these symptoms and we’re seeing it maybe a few weeks earlier than we did last year," said Dr. Theresa Greco with Eskenazi Health.

The best way to determine if you have a cold or if you have seasonal allergies is by paying close attention to specific symptoms.

Symptoms of both colds and allergies include:

  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion

Symptoms of allergies only include:

  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Itchy ears
  • Itchy throat
  • Wheezing
  • Symptoms lasting weeks to months

Symptoms of a cold include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches and pains

Doctors say it's important to know the difference between the two and seek medical treatment if any symptoms are prolonged. Parents should consider their children's individual symptoms.

"If your kids are having a fever, I would definitely keep them home. If they’re not feeling well and they’re doing a lot of coughing things like that, then they could spread the virus if it’s a cold," Dr. Greco said.

While it can be difficult to pinpoint the difference between allergies and a cold, doctors are able to test to see if you have the flu. You should see a doctor if you have flu symptoms as soon as possible.

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