LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It’s that time of year when many experience a runny nose, headache, or congestion. How do you know if you are sick or experiencing allergies?

Congestion, a runny nose, and a mild sore throat can occur with both. 8 News Now spoke with Dr. Marc J. Kahn, MD, MBA, the dean of the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine, and vice president for health affairs at the Univerisity of Nevada, Las Vegas about how to tell the difference.

“I think one of the major differences is if you have an infection with a virus like COVID you’re going to have a fever. People with allergies don’t have a fever,” Kahn said.

Pesky allergy symptoms tend to affect people between Valentine’s Day and the first couple of 100-degree days. This year people can expect more severe allergies due to the increase in rain.

“In Spring as trees come into bloom, they create more pollen that gets aerosolized and our dry climate makes it such that these particles are dispersed more readily through the air. In a dry climate where trees produce more pollen, we’re going to see a lot of allergies,” Kahn said.

The best way to beat those allergy sniffles is through nasal steroids.

“It is important to start those a couple of weeks before allergy season because it takes a couple of days for the nasal steroids to really have an effect and block the nasal symptoms from seasonal allergies,” Kahn said.

Kahn stresses that if you think you’re sick or potentially contagious stay home. You should seek medical attention if you become short of breath, begin vomiting, or fainting.