Some might have problems distinguishing common cold and allergy, whether continuous sneezing and coughing, runny nose and congestion is caused by allergies or by cold. Let’s look at the differences which might help you get relief faster.
Cold or “common cold” is caused by a tiny living thing called virus, when a virus gets inside the human body, immune system and body’s defense against germs counter-attacks, which in response leads to symptoms like a cough, sneezing, runny nose or stuffed up nose.
Here are some key features of the cold and the virus causing it.
• The virus that causes cold is infectious, it can be transmitted by someone who is infected sneezes cough and shake hands.
• Recovery from cold is usually swift, after a week or two you might not have similar symptoms as the immune system fight off the illness.
• Sore throat, runny and stuffy nose are also the symptoms for cold.
• People with allergies are more vulnerable to catching a cold.
• Extreme cold can also cause fever, headache and body aches.
• Regardless of the name, you can catch a cold at any time of the year, even in summer. Young children have more chances of catching cold due to their immature immune system.
Allergies are caused by an overactive immune system, but out of the clear blue sky, your body mistakes harmless substances in the environment, such as dust or pollen for germs and mounts an attack on them. When such happens, your body releases chemicals such as histamine, similar to what it does when fighting off cold. Histamine causes swelling in the passageways of the nose which leads to sneezing and coughing. Allergies aren’t infectious, unlike cold, although some may inherit a tendency to get allergies.
Minor differences between cold and allergy which helps you to decide what’s causing you trouble.
• Duration. A cold generally lasts for three days or it might take up to 2 weeks, while allergies can last up to days, month or months, as long as you are still in contact with what triggered your allergy.
• Comes into existence. Colds can happen at any time of the year but most often in winters while allergies can happen at any time of the year, although some allergy triggers are seasonal.
Differences between Allergy and Cold
• Cough and Sore throat.
These are common scenarios for a cold while it may or may not happen in case of allergy
• Runny or Stuffy Nose
It is quite common to get a runny or stuffy nose in cold but depending on the allergy it can also, be considered as a case of allergy.
The allergy will never cause fever while extensive cold can lead up to fever and body aches.
• Itchy and watery eyes
Rare to get itchy eyes in cold but it is most often the case with allergy.
How to Distinguish between Cold and Allergy
Colds can cause the following:
• Aches and pains
• Sore throat
• Watery, Itchy eyes
• Skin rashes
Treatment of a common cold
Your body gets rid of the cold virus over time since antibiotics are of no use against cold viruses as antibiotics only kill bacteria. Still, there are some remedies you can use for treating yourself while having a cold, you can expect to be sick for a few days or weeks, besides getting enough rest here are some remedies which might help you feel better:
• Decongestant nasal sprays
• Pain relievers such as ibuprofen(Advil) or acetaminophen(Tylenol)
• Over the counter(OTC) cold and cough syrups. Children under 4 are not recommended Over the counter and cough syrups medications, while nasal sprays must not be given to children under age 6. Doctors' advice must be taken before taking any medication.
Some home remedies can relieve a cold, such as
• Stay hydrated
• Say No to Caffeine
• Gargling with salt water
• Drinking more fluids
• Using nasal sprays and nasal rinses.
Treatment of allergy.
One of the very effective ways to prevent allergy is to stay away from the allergy trigger. The best possible way to treat an allergy depends on the cause and the extremity of the reactions. If you can’t avoid, you can always go to the doctor and consult them about medications and relieve your symptoms.
Antihistamine:Histamine is the chemical which releases while fighting the allergy which causes block passageways, these drugs reduce or block the production of histamines, while doing so they stop allergy symptoms.
• Claritin (loratadine)
• Claritin (loratadine) and Cetirizine (Zyrtec), are less likely to cause drowsiness than Benadryl.
Nasal decongestants:Nasal decongestants come in various forms pills, liquid, and sprays that can help stuffy, sore throat and coughing. Although they help relieve the symptoms but should not be taken continuously for more than 72 hours. Some common decongestants include:
• Afrin, Dristan, Vicks Sinex (oxymetazoline)
• Sudafed PE, Suphedrin PE (phenylephrine)
• Silfedrine, Sudafed, Suphedrin (pseudoephedrine)
Avoid the allergen:The best way to prevent allergic reactions is to know what triggers the reactions and to stay away from it, especially food allergens. Allergy shots Long term solution for eliminating allergies, it gradually exposes you to a small amount of Allergan. This helps the body to desensitize your body to a substance.
Other treatments:As with cold symptoms, saline sprays, and humidifiers can help relieve certain allergy symptoms.
Stance for cold and allergies
While some symptoms for colds and allergies are similar yet these two are different health conditions, finding out which one you have can help you get the right treatment. Both cold and allergies cause viruses and bacteria to block the passageways, which can lead to more serious infections and if any such symptoms last more than two weeks you should immediately consult your doctor.
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