Cold or Allergy?

by / Monday, 18 August 2014 / Published in Uncategorized

No one enjoys being uncomfortable. With Fall season coming up there is no telling the difference between being sick, or having an allergic reaction to something. Using an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine to help alleviate cold symptoms such as nasal congestion may seem like an easy solution, but determining the underlying cause of symptoms is very important, as colds and allergies are managed differently.

Causes of common cold

  • Cold symptoms can be caused by many types of viruses. People get infected either by breathing in germs or by direct contact with someone or something with germs on it.

Causes of allergies

  • Allergies involve a person’s immune system over-reacting to a usually harmless protein such as pollen (from grasses, weeds or trees), mold, animals (for example, cat saliva or dog dander), insects (for example, dust mites, cockroaches or stinging insects), foods, medications or latex. Allergies tend to run in families and are not contagious.

Similar symptoms

  • Both colds and allergies (especially allergic rhinitis or “hay fever”) can manifest as a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing and fatigue.
  • With colds, a yellow nasal discharge, muscle aches, sore throat, watery eyes and fever can also occur.
  • With allergies, a clear nasal discharge and itchy eyes often occur. No fever or muscle aches should be present.

Timing of colds and allergies

  • Colds can occur year round. They can last as long as 10-14 days.
  • Allergies can be bothersome seasonally or perennially. For example, a person allergic to ragweed will be symptomatic for a few months. In contrast, someone with a dust mite allergy might exhibit symptoms year round.

Contact us at R&M Cleaning Service to make sure you don’t have any sort of dust, dirt, or any other sort of allergen lurking around your house.