Polly and I are both down for the count with a runny nose, cough, sore throat, aches and upset stomach. But is it a cold or just allergies?

"Fall is really a key point in the allergy season, mostly because of ragweed allergy, which affects most of North America," Dr. Nadim Bikhazi, an ear, nose and throat specialist told weather.com. "Each plant produces a billion grains of pollen, which can travel hundreds of miles and have a tremendous impact."

Common colds are caused by viruses. "A lot of times, people misdiagnose themselves; they just grab one medication to treat themselves when they're really suffering from something else," Dr. Bikhazi warned.

There are several ways to tell the difference between a cold and allergies. A cold progress slowly and ends after a few days. Allergies are instant, don't have symptom changes and won't quit without medication.

Cold Symptoms
-Progress slowly
-Sore throat
-Runny nose
-Ends after few days

Allergy Symptoms
-Scratchy throat
-No fever
-Won't quit without medication
-No symptom changes

You can check the pollen count each day with the allergy tracker at Weather.com. The Utica area looks like it went through the highest pollen count already and is back to low or none.


More From Big Frog 104