WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Coughing, sneezing and wheezing. Sound familiar? 

Many are suffering from allergies worse now than in the spring, according to Dr. Henry Fishman, an allergist in D.C. and former Chief of the Allergy Division at Georgetown University Hospital.  

Fishman said November is one of the two worst seasons in the year for allergies due to a number of pollens, ragweed, leaf mold and more.

“This actually for a lot of us asthmatics, the worst time of year, even worse than spring,” he said. “Many allergy sufferers who get itchy eyes, stuffy nose, sinuses [have] trouble during the fall season.”

Fishman said one of the best ways to protect from allergies is to take a shower after exposure to pollen.

“Wash your hair and wash your clothes. It’s not a good idea to air dry your towels and clothes outside on a clothesline because you get pollen all over them. If you have a pet you might want to wash it once or twice a week to get the pollen off,” he said.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, a lot of people will be traveling and be around large gatherings, which exposes them to viruses. Fishman said there are ways to spot the difference between an allergy and a contagious virus. 

“The viruses tend to cause fever, muscle sweats and chills. Allergies cause a lot of itching and sneezing,” he said. “Allergies go on for days or weeks at a time. Colds, generally 5 to 7 days.”

Fishman also said doctors can determine if it’s a sickness or allergies through a physical exam. Allergic noses look kind of pale gray and infected noses look kind of red.