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HOUSTON—There’s no doubt, it’s been beautiful outside lately. This time of year is perfect for a run around Memorial Park, but it’s also perfect for allergies.  

“It’s tough to get through the day,” said runner Antonella Rosa. “It gets pretty bad. I have to make sure I’m taking my medicine.”

Dr. David Amran of Sugar Land Allergy Asthma and Immunology Center said this time of year he sees often sees patients who are affected by ragweed. Even his staffers are regular patients.

“It’s just a really bad season right now,” said Tiffany Ceballos, who is not only a nurse at the center, but also a patient.

Dr. Amran said it can be confusing for patients to figure out if they have allergies or a cold, because they both have similar symptoms—like itchy eyes and nose, congestion, sore throat and coughing.

But if it’s a cold, Amran said you’ll probably have aches and a fever. 

Allergies, on the other hand will last longer than a cold.

It’s important to distinguish between the two, because if you don’t have a cold and you continue to take cold medicine over an extended period of time, you could have problems.

“If patients are getting to this level of feeling that their cold symptoms are not getting better within a week, don’t double and continue to take this medication over the counter such as Sudafed and Afrin,” said Amran. “In the long run, it will have potential side effects such as increased blood pressure and a condition in the sinuses that is not easily treated by a physician.”

But Ceballos said there’s no need to suffer from allergies.

“Come see the doctor and get on medication and hopefully you start soon enough that it’s not as bad,” she said.

That way, even allergy sufferers can enjoy this beautiful weather.