Is it a Cold or Allergies?

I know when I was a kid, many of my nasal allergy symptoms were dismissed because I didn't test positive to allergens. The doc dismissed my symptoms and told my parents I must just get a lot of colds. It wasn't until I was an adult and went to an actual allergist who diagnosed  based on symptoms and not just testing, that I finally got some relief.

The tips in here are good ones to reduce exposure. Are there any you didn't know? 

Health experts note that colds and seasonal allergies can cause many of the same symptoms — runny nose, stuffy nose, sneezing, fatigue, and coughing. But a common cold typically lasts no longer than 10 days, while allergies can linger on for months.

Viruses also tend to bring on fever, chills, and body aches that allergy sufferers don’t generally experience. They are best treated with rest, drinking plenty of fluids, boosting your immune system, and using over-the-counter remedies to manage symptoms until they’ve run their course and go away on their own.

Allergies, on the other hand, tend to cause watery eyes, itchy throats, and wheezing — symptoms rarely caused by viruses. Treatment usually requires identifying what’s causing them and limiting your exposure to them, which may require a doctor’s care.


Comments 5

  • Jen

    Interesting. I know it can be really hard to tell w my kids. It does seem like their allergy meds can help alleviate some of their cold symptoms. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Another thing that makes it complicated — when DD winds up with flare, it can cause her sinuses to not drain properly, which, if we don't get under control, can start brewing a sinus infection. And she usually runs a fever with a sinus infection.This happens right around the two-week mark of a long run of high pollen days or when she's been around things that make her allergies flare up.

    When she's having a huge flare-up, I follow my doctor's advice and give her decongestants along with her usual antihistamine, plus plenty of fluids. That sometimes helps keep sinus infections from setting up shop in her poor old sinuses. 

  • Kathy P

    DS winds up w/ the sinus issues. His sinuses are chronically inflamedand we are dealing w/ the teen boy lack of med compliance on using nosespray. But, he doesn't really spike much of a fever when it turns intoan infection. His first "tell" is that he gets a "metallic" taste in hismouth. I get the same "metallic" taste whenever I've got bronchitis brewing.

  • Jen

    Whenever I feel the sinus gunk starting (sometimes the pnd cough is my first sign),  I start doing sinus rinses (I use the bottle, not the neti pot).  Oftentimes, that is enough to keep a sinus infection from setting up shop.  But…this past spring, I ended up w 2 sinus infections.  

  • Kathy P

    Yeah, I've been kind of lax on the sinus rinses. Need to start thoseback up again. Ugh….