Though allergies and a cold are wildly different, their symptoms often confuse people and make them think they suffer from the opposite. How to tell if you have allergies will ultimately help you determine a path to feeling better.
Colds and allergies have very different solutions (though both benefit from drinking lots of water and getting plenty of rest).
If you’ve experienced what you think are cold or allergy symptoms, a few basic facts listed below will help you diagnose.
Keep reading to learn the differences between the two and what actions should be taken to resolve negative symptoms.
How to Tell if You Have Allergies or a Cold: Recognizing the Signs
Common Cold Symptoms
Colds are likely to spread from person to person through contact (or from exposure to public spaces). If you’re truly feeling cold-like symptoms, you can usually trace it back to a time and place they first appeared.
It’s likely the bacteria from these areas lingered on handles, guard rails, turnstiles and others (malls and schools spread sicknesses quickly).
Typical cold symptoms are body fatigue, aches, and pains across the body, a sore throat, and a high body temperature (fever). Allergies can cause congestion issues and skin reactions, but they don’t drain the entire body like a cold does.
Common Allergy Symptoms
Allergies can affect people during certain seasons (such as spring and summer) and may cause symptoms like itchy eyes, skin rashes, nasal congestion, and wheezing. Allergens usually affect areas like the skin, the throat, and air passageways.
An allergic reaction can be immediate if you ingest allergens, but it can also appear as a gradual onset of symptoms. For instance, you may slowly get a runny nose from prolonged dust exposure in an old house.
Depending on your body’s unique programming, you may be allergic to certain foods, plants, tree oils, pet dander, etc.
You can usually tell the difference between a cold and allergy based on its duration, too. Colds will be fleeting, lasting a few days or a week. Seasonal allergies will cause symptoms for weeks or possibly months at a time.
If it comes down to it, you may want to conduct an allergy test with your doctor to get exact results. Allergy tests look for high levels of antibodies in your blood that normally flood the immune system to fight off invasions.
You can learn more about allergy centers and tests online.
Doctors recommend “avoiding your triggers” to prevent symptoms, which is a lot easier said than done. If you can’t avoid allergens (such as airborne and seasonal allergens), look to medications to relieve symptoms.
Antihistamines are the solution, which work by blocking the body’s natural response to allergies. Allegra, Benadryl, and Zyrtec are common brand name medications.
Colds need different medicine (usually fever-reducing NSAIDs, cough syrups, and nasal sprays).
Where to Look for Insightful Health Articles
Learning how to tell if you have allergies will save you a lot of discomfort over time. Staying informed with credible sources is an important step to keeping up with your overall health.
For more insightful health articles, check out the health category at the My Zeo blog today!