How To Know If You Have Allergies Or A Cold

06/15/2017

Allergy Treatment Neptune, New JerseyThere are many similarities between the onset of a cold and allergies. Here are several factors that can help you determine if your incessant sneezing and coughing are due to hay fever or sickness.

  1. Colds are a reaction to a virus: A cold occurs when you catch a virus. There are hundreds of cold strains that can make you sick. When the virus arrives inside of your body, your immune system will launch a defense. This counter attack will elicit classic cold annoyances like a stuffed up nose or a cough. In contrast, allergies develop due to an overactive immune system. Sometimes the body will mistake harmless microbes found in pollen for germs, then launch an attack. When this occurs, the body will release histamine or other chemicals similar to when it is fighting a cold. This will cause you to sneeze, cough, and get a swollen nose. Unlike colds, you cannot catch allergies from someone else. In rare cases, certain individuals may inherit the likelihood of getting allergies.
  2. Allergies can last for months: While colds typically go for four to fourteen days, allergies can stretch from days to several months. If your coughing and sneezing extend beyond two weeks, you may have allergies.
  3. Allergies start quicker than colds: If you come into contact with something that triggers your allergies, the symptoms will start immediately. On the other had, if you come into contact with someone who has a cold, it typically takes a couple of days for the symptoms to develop.
  4. Some of the symptoms are very different. Colds and allergies can be identified by a cough, fatigue, itchy eyes, or a runny nose; however, there are certain symptoms that are unique to colds. If you are experiencing a fever or aching sensation, you likely have a fever, not allergies.

If you still have cold symptoms after two weeks, it could be indicative of a larger issue. In this case, be sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine if you have a sinus infection or any other health issue that requires a prescription medication. To schedule an appointment today, call us at 732-280-7855.