Is It A Cold Or Allergies
Itchy eyes stuffy nose sneezing fits a scratchy throat – these symptoms are all too familiar for many individuals. But how do you know if these symptoms are caused by a common cold or allergies?
A cold is caused by a viral infection usually from the rhinovirus or coronavirus. On the other hand allergies result from an overreaction of the immune system to substances such as pollen pet dander or dust mites.
Colds allergies can exhibit similar symptoms but there are some differences:
- Sore throat
- Fever (sometimes)
- Body aches
- Itchy watery eyes
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Postnasal drip
A cold typically lasts for about 7 to 10 days with symptoms gradually reducing over time. Allergies on the other hand can persist for weeks or months depending on the duration of exposure to the allergen.
While some symptoms may overlap there are certain factors that can help differentiate a cold from allergies:
Cold symptoms often appear gradually with a few mild symptoms appearing at first gradually worsening over a couple of days. Allergy symptoms however may appear suddenly after exposure to the allergen such as stepping outdoors on a high pollen day.
Colds are more common in the colder months while allergies can occur in spring summer or fall depending on the specific allergen. If symptoms consistently occur during a specific season it is more likely to be allergies.
Symptoms such as cough fatigue can occur in both colds allergies but certain symptoms are more indicative of one or the other. For example a sore throat is more commonly associated with a cold while itchy watery eyes are typically associated with allergies.
Determining whether it’s a cold or allergies can be challenging especially when symptoms overlap. Understanding the causes symptoms duration distinguishing factors can help in making a more accurate diagnosis. Consulting with a healthcare professional is advisable to receive a proper evaluation appropriate treatment.