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For many people in Texas, it’s that time of year again. Runny noses, sniffles, and coughing are all too common symptoms in the springtime. While you generally don’t need to panic and seek emergency medical treatment, here are some signs that may help you decide if a trip to the ER is necessary.

But is it a cold or is it springtime allergies? There are a few ways to distinguish between the two:


  • Runny nose with yellow discharge
  • Body aches
  • Scratchy throat with sneezing and coughing
  • Fever
  • Generally lasts 10 days or less


  • Runny nose with clear discharge
  • Wheezing Sneezing and coughing
  • Watery/itchy eyes
  • No fever
  • No body aches
  • Can last an extended period of time if exposure to allergen persists

Treatment options

When you suspect it’s a cold, the best care is drinking fluids, getting a lot of rest, and eating well. You can use over-the-counter decongestants to relieve symptoms, but there’s no magic wand, and a cold generally needs to run its course.

For allergies, fluids and rest are also a good idea. There are over-the-counter and prescription medications to help with symptoms, and for particularly bad cases, allergy shots can provide a lot of relief.

When to seek emergency medical treatment

Sometimes what you originally thought was just a common cold can take a turn for the worse, and in actuality is may be a far more serious problem that may require emergency medical treatment. ERKaty is a free-standing emergency room, and if you experience any of the following issues, they may indicate a condition that requires immediate medical care: Persistent or high fever Coughing is particularly violent and painful Difficulty breathing in general, or when taking deep breaths Contact the staff at ERKaty for emergency medical treatment if you or anyone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms above. ERKaty is open 24/7 and their Board-Certified Emergency Medical doctors are ready to help at any hour. Call them at (281) 395-9900.

For more information:

Guide from WebMD

Mayo Clinic tips to tell the difference between colds and allergies