Saturday, February 17, 2024

Symptoms Of Cold Vs Allergies

Is It Allergies Or A Cold

Allergies vs. Cold Symptoms

Cold and allergy symptoms often overlap, so its easy to mistake cold symptoms for allergies, and vice versa. Understanding the cause of your symptoms helps you choose the right treatment. It also gives you a better picture of your overall health.

Clinicians use the 5 factors below to help distinguish between colds and allergies.

How To Treat Colds Vs Allergies

Since the symptoms of colds and allergies are similar, so will their treatments. “For most run-of-the-mill allergy or cold symptoms, the treatments are about the same, so it really doesn’t matter too much if you try to tell them apart,” Dr. Rosenstreich said.

The main difference is that allergies won’t affect others. “With a cold, you probably don’t want to go into work and make everyone else sick, whereas with allergies, people will just tell you not to come near them, but you’re not actually contagious,” Dr. Rosenstreich explained.

Both allergy and cold treatments are what’s called symptomatic, Dr. Rosenstreich added, meaning they won’t make the issue go away. They’ll only treat the symptoms that are making you miserable. Experts typically recommend over-the-counter oral decongestants and antihistamines as well as nasal sprays to reduce inflammation and congestion in both cases, Dr. Parikh said.

If you’ve got a coldor another virusthat’s causing body aches or a fever, you might also want to try something to ease the pain and lower your temperature, like acetaminophen or aspirin, Dr. Metcalfe added.

While getting plenty of rest can help you get over a cold, it won’t do much for allergies. However, be sure to drink plenty of fluids, no matter your issue. “Dehydration makes allergies and colds worse,” Dr. Parikh said. “Fluids help relieve congestion.”

How You Can Tell The Difference Between Cold And Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

With both allergies and colds, its typical to have congestion or a runny nose, and to sneeze often. You may also feel tired and drowsy. But there are several other symptoms that dont often overlap between allergies and a cold. Here are some of the telltale differences between cold symptoms and allergy symptoms.

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Do You Have A Cold Or Allergies

WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Carol DerSarkissian, MD

Do you know how to tell the difference between a cold and allergies? Are you sure?

It’s easy to get them confused. Just ask Paul Ehrlich, MD, a professor of pediatrics at New York University. He’d been an allergist for years when he came down with what he thought was a cold. “I’d had a watery, runny nose for several days when one of my patients took a look at me and said, ‘Oh, you have allergies, too!'” Ehrlich says.

He’d never had allergies before, but a checkup with another doctor confirmed that the patient was right. “Turns out I was allergic to birch trees, which were in bloom at the time,” he says.

A cold is an infection caused by a virus. Allergies are your immune system’s reaction to a substance like pollen or pet dander. Because the two conditions cause similar symptoms, like sniffles and stuffiness, many people get them mixed up. Knowing which is which can help you get the right treatment, and that will help you feel better faster.

Covid Vs A Cold: Whats The Difference

Cold vs. Allergies  Hy

COVID symptoms can appear up to 14 days after exposure, while cold symptoms can take just a few days. . A cold is less likely to cause a fever, diarrhea, or a loss of taste and smell, which are more common with COVID. Theres no cure for a cold. But you can try to treat the symptoms by resting up, hydrating, and binging your favorite comfort shows.

Common cold symptoms can include:

  • Severe sore throat

  • Severe headache

And if youre experiencing seasonal allergies , you should see an allergist if:

  • Antihistamines are not helping to control your symptoms

  • The symptoms make it difficult for you to breathe

  • You also have asthma

You can take some preventative measures to protect against developing a severe case of the flu, a cold, or COVID by:

  • Getting a flu shot

  • Getting the COVID vaccine . Reminder: Its completely safe to get the flu shot and the COVID vaccine at the same time.

  • Wearing a mask in areas where the COVID rates are high.

  • Washing your hands regularly.

  • Avoiding close contact with people you know are currently sick.

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Are There Cold Symptoms That Are Never Caused By Allergies

Yes! Check your temperature. While some colds never cause a fever, if you do have a high temperature, its definitely not allergies. Seasonal allergies dont cause fevers because your body isn’t fighting an actual infection, only over-reacting to a benign intruder.

If you have a fever, you’re dealing with a virus or infection rather than an allergy, so antihistamine medications don’t help. Cold medicines and anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen are your best bet. Also, it’s always a good idea to rest and avoid contact with others so you don’t spread the virus. Fevers almost always indicate that you’re contagious. When you’re sick, don’t go out and put others at risk. Stay home until symptoms are gone.

If your temperature is higher than 101 degrees and doesn’t go down, check with your doctor as soon as possible. A fever of 104 degrees or higher requires immediate emergency medical attention.

Allergies Vs Cold Symptoms: Whats The Difference

  • ENT Institute

Nowadays, when you or someone you know is sick, theres a level of concern about what it is, whether thats allergies, the common cold, the flu, a sinus infection, or COVID-19. There are distinct differences between each one that you should know so you can stay ahead of whats ailing you. For this blog, were focusing on allergies vs cold symptoms .

The differences between allergies and the common cold are subtle but can be spotted pretty quickly. The issue with either of these is that if ignored, they can turn into a dangerous sinus infection.

But lets start with allergy symptoms and go from there.

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What Causes The Common Cold

The common cold is caused by viral strains, such as the rhinovirus, coronavirus, and adenovirus virus.

Over 200 viral strains are known to cause the cold, though the most common is rhinovirus, which is responsible for up to 40 percent of cases. Coronavirus, adenovirus, parainfluenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus are also very common.

You can catch this virus by being around someone infected with the virus. You may also breathe in the virus from the air after someone has coughed or sneezed.

Start With Some Home Remedies For Cold And Allergy Symptoms

Cold vs. allergies during COVID-19 pandemic

When you start feeling icky, some simple home remedies can provide temporary relief. For starters, try to get more rest. Both allergies and colds can cause tiredness, so listen to your body and take it easy.

Also, take advantage of saltwater to soothe irritated nasal passages and scratchy or sore throats.

For your nose, use a neti pot. A neti pot can be picked up at any local drugstore or online, and typically comes with packets to mix with warm, distilled water to create a saltwater solution to pour through your nasal passages.

For your throat, simply mix a quarter or half teaspoon of table salt into an 8-ounce glass of warm water. Take a sip and gargle for a few seconds like you would with mouthwash. Then spit and repeat until the solution is gone. You can do this a couple times a day.

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Allergy Vs Cold: Which Is It

ByMaddy Biddulphpublished 29 June 22

The symptoms of an allergy and a cold can be similar. Heres how to spot the difference and some ways to manage both conditions

There can be a lot of confusion between an allergy vs a cold, as the symptoms are similar. So which are you suffering with?

According to Dr Tariq Mahmood, medical director at Concepto Diagnostics , what exactly causes an allergy is unclear, but an allergic reaction is when your immune system defends itself against a substance that it perceives as a threat.

When you interact with a substance that you have an allergy to, your body reacts by releasing the hormone histamine to the affected area, he explains. A cold, on the other hand, is a virus that infects your nose and throat by invading the healthy cells. Your body responds by releasing chemicals that trigger virus-fighting cells. In a nutshell, an allergy is a reaction to a foreign substance a cold is a respiratory infection caused by a virus.

When it comes to clearing congestion or treating hay fever and seasonal allergies, you may also ask yourself: what are the best air purifiers for allergies? Or do dehumidifiers help with allergies? There are a few ways to treat both conditions, and in this article well go into more depth about an allergy vs cold, explaining the causes, symptoms, differences and treatments.

How Can I Prevent Colds And Allergies

To avoid catching a virus and spreading colds:

  • Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth, which are the areas of your body most vulnerable to germs.

To avoid seasonal allergies:

  • Try to limit your contact with the allergens you react to.
  • If your allergies bother you a lot, immunotherapy may help reduce or even completely prevent irritating symptoms.

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Do You Need Antibiotics For Sinus Infection

The fastest way to get rid of a sinus infection is to rest, use nasal sprays, and take over-the-counter medication as needed to treat your symptoms.

Antibiotics are only prescribed for bacterial sinus infections and chronic infections lasting longer than 12 weeks. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control , most infections usually get better on their own without antibiotics.

Amoxicillin and amoxicillin-clavulanate are the most commonly prescribed antibiotics as they target most of the bacteria responsible for sinus infections.

When Did You Begin To Feel Unwell

Cold Or Allergies Suck!

If you remember being around someone who had an upper respiratory infection a few days before you started feeling ill, you may have caught a viral infection. Viruses are spread by contact with sneezes, coughs, and contaminated surfaces such as door handles. Allergies, on the other hand, can begin immediately after coming in contact with triggers such as pollen. If you think you might be experiencing a seasonal allergy, check the pollen count in your area if levels are high, allergies may be the culprit.

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How To Avoid Summer Allergies

Minimizing or eliminating exposure to the things that make you have allergic reactions is the best way to avoid an allergy. Checking pollen and mold spore counts before leaving the house is one step you can take to minimize exposure. Read our pages on nasal allergies and eye allergies to learn more.

If Allergy Medicine Doesnt Work Is It A Cold

If prescribed or recommended medicine isnt working, there may be a few explanations.

  • Allergy medicine will not treat a cold . So, if youve started taking allergy medication without a proper diagnosis, you may just have a cold
  • If youve had a professional diagnosis, it could be that you need to try another medicine13. If this is the case, speak to your doctor and they may suggest immunotherapy or another treatment

Also, make sure youre using allergy medications correctly such as pointing nasal sprays the right way and following the directions on any packaging. You could have your local pharmacist help with drug administration if you are unsure how to use a product.

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How To Treat Allergies

Allergy treatment aims to mitigate your response to the allergen and reduce your symptoms. The best allergy “treatment” is to avoid what causes your allergies in the first place. However, this is not always possible. In those instances, there are two types of allergy treatments that can help ease your symptoms: medications and immunotherapy.

How To Treat A Cold

The Difference Between Spring Allergies and Cold Symptoms

Treatment for a cold is aimed at easing your symptoms as your body, over time, naturally gets rid of the cold virus. Self-care includes getting enough liquids to prevent dehydration, rest, and using a humidifier.

Although over-the-counter medications cannot make your cold go away, they can relieve your symptoms and help you feel better while it runs its course.

  • To lower fever and provide pain relief, you can use medications like Tylenol and Advil .
  • Antihistamines, though more commonly associated with allergy treatment, can help relieve a runny nose and watery eyes related to a cold.
  • can ease sinus congestion and a stuffy nose.
  • Expectorants thin mucus so you can clear your respiratory passages easier.

Multi-symptom cold formulas combine two or more of these medications.

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Learn Some Of The Differences Between Allergies And A Cold

While colds and allergies can have similar symptoms, here are some questions to help you tell if you should consider reaching for some Claritin® or curl up with a bowl of chicken noodle soup and binge watch your favourite shows:

1. How quickly did your symptoms strike?

Allergy symptoms tend to hit all at once when you come into contact with an allergen . Symptoms of a cold usually appear one at a time and develop slowly over a few days.

2. How long have you had symptoms?

Colds typically run their course within 7-10 days. Allergy symptoms can last weeks or months, and will be present as long as you are exposed to the allergen. If your cold symptoms last longer than 10 days, talk to your doctor.

3. What colour and texture is your mucus?

Runny nose and sneezing are common symptoms of both colds and allergies. But you can often tell the difference by looking at the colour and texture of your mucus. If you have allergies, your mucus will typically be clear, thin and watery. If you have a cold, the mucus from coughing or sneezing may be thick and yellow or green. Yellow or green mucus could indicate an infection requiring medical attention.

4. Do you have body aches and pains?

Colds may come with slight body aches and pains. Allergies are not usually associated with body aches and pains.

5. What time of year is it?

REFERENCES

What Are Allergies And Colds

More than 50 million people in the US experience various types of allergies each year and they are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the country, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation Of America . Meanwhile, every year American adults have on average two to three colds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

So what exactly are colds and allergies? A cold is a viral infection in your upper respiratory tract your nose, throat, sinuses, says Dr Luke Pratsides, from online health clinic Numan .

Symptoms include a runny nose, sore throat, headache, cough and temperature. You catch a cold when you inhale infected particles through your airways. These particles are spread through airborne droplets that have come from an infected person coughing, sneezing, or breathing.

The virus is also spread through contact with infected surfaces. If you touch a contaminated surface and then rub your eyes or touch your mouth, you could then become infected by the virus. Symptoms begin a few days after infection and will usually last a few days. People with weaker immune systems are more vulnerable to infection.

On the other hand, he explains that an allergy, such as hay fever, is the bodys intolerant reaction to a particular substance. Your body is recognizing the substance as an invader and triggers an immune response.

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Can Allergies Be Mistaken For A Cold

For people who havent considered the symptoms listed above, it can be easy to think an allergy is a cold or vice versa. But upon closer assessment, its typically fairly easy to tell the two conditions apart.

Of course, theres no reason that you cant have them back-to-back or simultaneously. You might catch a cold right when symptoms from seasonal allergies are declining. Or you might be a seasonal allergy sufferer who comes down with a cold at the same time.

Are You Treating Multiple Symptoms

Allergies vs Cold

For a cold, get extra rest and drink plenty of fluids, including water, tea, or soup with lots of broth. For allergies, it can help to shower and change your clothes often because allergens cling to skin, hair, and clothing. For both colds and allergies, over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants, and pain relievers may help you feel better, although they wont make a cold go away any faster. And no matter what ails you, avoid medications that treat multiple symptoms, especially if you dont have some of the symptoms the medication is meant to treat.

If home treatments arent working and you still dont feel well, connect with our Consulting Nurse Service.

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Is My Runny Nose From Allergies Or Cold

Both allergies and the cold can cause a runny nose. In a cold, a runny nose often begins about a day after a sore throat starts. The nasal secretions are generally clear and/or watery at first. Then, the secretions from the runny nose usually begin to become thicker and may turn cloudy or change to a yellow or green color which may suggest the presence of a secondary bacterial infection. As the cold nears its end, the nasal secretions will often become thin and watery again. In contrast, allergies normally cause a runny nose that remains watery. A runny nose from a cold shouldnt last longer than 10 days, but the duration of a runny nose from allergies depends on the individual and what causes their allergies.

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