ST. PAUL, Minn. - If you're coughing and sneezing this time of year, you are not alone.

Gwen Verchota, the Care Delivery Manager at HealthPartners' online clinic, says over the last four to six weeks, she has been busy helping patients determine whether their symptoms are linked to a cold... or allergies.

“Typically, with a cold and with allergies you will have a runny nose and sneezing but if it is allergies you will have itchy ears and eyes and throat that go along with this,” she said. “With allergies, often you will have thin nasal discharge.”

Verchota says it is best to treat colds with Ibuprofen and Tylenol. For allergies, she says antihistamines and nasal steroids are best. For a complete list of cold and allergy symptoms, click here.

Coupled with medication, Verchota recommends taking additional steps at home.

"It is important to take your shoes off at the door and be mindful of what can collect pollen,” she said. “Pillow cases. In allergy season, make sure those things are being changed too.”