Achoo! How to cope with spring allergies

March 14, 2012 at 9:28 AM ET

Spring doesn't even officially start for another week, but the sneezing, itching and watery eyes many Americans are already suffering mean seasonal allergies are already here. After the fourth warmest winter ever recorded, we're being hit with an early allergy season. Unfortunately, just because allergy season is starting early doesn't mean it's going to end any earlier.

And just because your past springs have been sniffle-free, don't think you're in the clear. Seasonal allergies can show up at any point in life. Wondering if you've got a cold or an allergy? Dr. Roshini Raj, contributing medical editor of Health magazine, says a good rule is if it lasts more than a week, it's an allergy; if you have a fever, it's more likely a cold.

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It's not just you: Spring allergies hitting early, hard