Colds and allergies have similar symptoms so one is they can often be confused for each other. The main difference between the two is that a virus causes a cold, while allergies are triggered by the body's immune response.
Understanding the difference in symptoms and common misconceptions can help when finding the right treatment for your illness.
How Do Symptoms Differ?
Both allergies and colds cause sneezing, watery eyes, running or stuffy nose, but these symptoms are more often seen in colds:
Colds generally last about a week to ten days, while allergies are ongoing. Cold symptoms that occur suddenly or at that the same time each year are most likely seasonal allergies.
Can Allergies Cause A Cold?
Allergies do not cause colds; however, a cold or allergies with nasal congestion can block sinuses. Blocked sinuses can develop into an infection. A sinus infection requires treatment with antibiotics.
You may have similar symptoms with both allergies and a sinus infection. Allergies often cause itchy eyes and skin, and thick yellow or green drainage from the nose is a good indicator of a sinus infection.
What About COVID-19?
With the cases of COVID 19 still going strong, you may worry about this illness as well. While COVID-19 symptoms are similar to colds and allergies, there are differences to look for.
COVID symptoms include:
If you suspect you have COVID-19, testing areas are set up in all communities to help you rule out or confirm the diagnosis.
When Should You See A Doctor?
If you have cold symptoms that don't resolve within a couple of weeks, or if you have a high fever, you should seek medical attention.
In the case of ongoing sneezing, coughing or itchiness, you may need to see a doctor for help with allergies. You can first try over-the-counter allergy remedies, but if they don't work, you may need prescription medication.
If you've tested positive for COVID-19 and/or have shortness of breath or a high fever, it's important to call your doctor. Your doctor's office has a certain procedure in place so that positive patients are seen safely in office.
Unless your symptoms are bothersome or severe, you can wait and see if your symptoms resolve with rest and time.
Sometimes it is difficult to determine the cause of your symptoms, so if you're ever unsure, your doctor is there to offer advice.
I am one of those people who hates going to the doctor. In the past, I have relied on everything from cranberry juice to apple cider vinegar to fix my ails. As I get older though, I find that I need to rely more on traditional medicine than I did in the past. What I found out from my doctor is that I did not have to give up the holistic medicines I used. I could combine them. This blog is designed to help others focus on how to combing holistic treatments with traditional medicine in a safe and fun way.