There's a lot of overlap between cold and allergy symptoms, and it's not always easy to tell what's causing your sniffles. First, consider the symptoms. Colds and allergies both lead to sneezing, sniffling, and congestion, Kristine Arthuran internist at MemorialCare Medical Group, says. But there are some key symptoms that set each illness apart. On the other hand, if you're suffering from a headache, body aches, and a mild fever, those are signature symptoms of a coldnot allergies. And while it might be gross, take a good look at your snot. If it's thin and clear, you probably have allergies.
The most common symptoms of seasonal allergies are:.
Do You Have a Cold or Allergies?
Some people may experience more severe allergic reactions which can allerggies hives red itchy rash and difficulty breathing. Many factors contribute to allergies. Most are caused by environmental factors such as pollen, fell, mold, pet dander, smoke, and pollution.
Other people are allergic to foods and medications, which may cause more severe reactions than environmental allergens. Even if you have never had allergies, you can develop them as an adult. Many people find that when they move to a new area, they will develop allergies.
It's usually related to different pollens or other allergens in the air in the new area. When your immune system is exposed to an allergen for the first time, you may not have a reaction.Oct 17, · If you think you may have allergies, or aren't sure, you should see your healthcare provider. They can determine whether your symptoms are caused by a virus (such as the common cold) or by allergies. They can also recommend medications or give you a prescription if you do have allergies. Mar 21, · (If you have asthma, you may also need to use your inhaler to treat coughing or wheezing, which could be triggered by both colds and allergies.) While getting plenty of . Dec 11, · “A cold can often be confused with allergies because you may not experience a fever or have a low-grade fever,” Dr. Ian Tong, chief medical officer at Doctor On Demand, told HuffPost. “You may have slight aches and pains, sneezing, coughing and may experience a sore throat first.”.
After that initial exposure, your body may begin to produce histamines when you encounter the allergen again. These histamines are what cause the symptoms of allergies. Typically, adults will develop allergies to environmental allergens, but it is much less common to develop allergies to foods or medications in adulthood.
This is because most people have had at least two hell to foods and medications that commonly cause allergic reactions by the time they reach adulthood. A cold will usually last two weeks or less.
tell They can last longer, but typically clear up within two weeks. Seasonal allergies last until the allergen that allerfies are reacting to is gone or you are no longer exposed to it. Cold symptoms are also slightly different than allergy symptoms. They include:. If you think you may have allergies, or aren't sure, you should see your healthcare provider. They can determine whether your symptoms are caused by a virus such as the common cold or by allergies.
They can also recommend medications or give you a prescription if you do have allergies. Some common allergy medications are Benadryl, Zyrtec, Allegra, and Claritin. They are all available over the counter and how generic forms. For people with more severe reactions or who do not respond to have medications, a visit to an allergist may allergies necessary.
How to tell if you have the cold or allergies - Insider
Allergists will conduct tests to determine the exact causes of the allergies and may prescribe allergy shots to alleviate symptoms. Want to know more about allergy medications?
On the other hand, if you're suffering from a headache, body aches, and a mild fever, those are signature symptoms of a coldnot allergies. And while it might be gross, take a good look at your snot. If it's thin and clear, you probably have allergies.
How to treat allergies and a cold
But if it's thick and discolored, then it's probably a cold, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. In addition to identifying what your symptoms are, keep track of how quickly they came on and how long they've jave. This is also helpful to figure out whether you have allergies or a cold. Often a person will feel OK for long periods before the cold's nasal and throat symptoms fully set in, Cutler says.
And a cold typically lasts three to 10 days — although it can stick around for several weeks — according to the Mayo Clinic. By contrast, allergies ramp up more quickly and symptoms tend to last for as long as the allergen is present.
So while your body will eventually recover from a cold in 7 to 10 daysyou'll continue to suffer from allergies as long as you're exposed to what's triggering them. And that brings us to the final clue: the season.
A common allergy for many is hay fever, which is an allergy to plant pollen. It will usually strike from February through June when blooming plants distribute their pollen. But the exact timing can vary depending on when plants bloom and release pollen.
4 Ways to Tell Whether You've Got Allergies or a Cold - wikiHow
To suss out if the pollen counts are high where you live, check out the pollen map on the National Allergy Bureau website. If sniffles hit during the wintertime — and allergiea if people around you have similar symptoms — odds are you have a cold, not allergies, Arthur says.
Allergies are caused by your body's immune system responding to a commonplace trigger, like pollen or cat dander. To fight off the trigger, your immune system alergies chemicals called histamines that cause an allergic reaction. To treat allergiesyou'll need to either avoid the trigger altogether or take medications, like antihistamines, to counteract your immune system's response.