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Understanding the Differences between Common Cold and Allergies?

When Spring rolls around in April and May, a lot of changes start happening. Some are great, including flowers blooming, trees coming back to life, and more time spent outdoors. Unfortunately, some negative changes happen too. Itchy throats, runny noses, and more effects of the Spring season start to kick in this time of year. A problem many have is deciphering whether or not symptoms point to allergies or the common cold. To pinpoint whether some seasonal reactions are just in the air or a full blown cold, these key differences between the common cold and allergies can help find a solution faster.

Differences between the Common Cold and Allergies

A lot of things can help individuals understand whether or not sickness is kicking in, or seasonal allergies are causing concern. The first and most comfortable sign is the duration of the symptoms.

Duration of the Symptoms

If a runny nose is lasting the better part of a week or two, it is easy to rule out a cold. The common cold moves fast in the body, thanks to the immune system. Most colds are simple and easy for the body to defend against, meaning that in anywhere between 4 to 7 days, things should clear up. Allergies last much longer, depending on what triggers them. Pollen allergies, for example, can last most of Spring and into Summer, as warm air begins to blow particles all around. Just because the symptoms are longer lasting does not mean medical attention is out of the question. Plenty of medications and treatments can dampen the symptoms of allergies. For the cold, simple over the counter medicines usually do the trick.

Introduction of the Symptoms

When dealing with the common cold, symptoms do not start to manifest themselves all at once. Many reports are feeling an itch in the throat that, in hindsight, results in a cold a few days later. Allergies, on the other hand, hit immediately when an individual comes in contact with the particles that cause a reaction. For example, an allergy to grass is going to show signs of reaction immediately upon contact.

Listening to the Body

The important way to determine immediately if a common cold or allergies are causing negative symptoms is to check for two things: internal temperature and external temperature. Internal temperature is comfortable and taken with a thermometer. Allergies never come with a fever, so it’s a quick way to find the cause. Likewise, external temperature is usually felt in the form of chills or other symptoms of a cold. Allergies will never give off body aches or chills.

Finding differences between the common cold and allergies is easy. Knowing them can help determine a way to treat the negative impacts of both.