Hacking and coughing, sneezing, and a nasal nose are among the symptoms that colds and allergies have in common. But if you have yellow mucus with your runny nose, you may have a cold. Allergic reactions typically cause only clear mucus.
If your hacking and coughing and sneezing is accompanied by an itchy, nasal nose and itchy, watery eyes, odds are good that you have allergies. A cold typically doesn’t cause that itchy feeling.
Wheezing and shortness of breath can be caused by a cold or allergies if you have a respiratory condition, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Wheezing and shortness of breath also can be related to other infections of the respiratory tract, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
Allergies typically aren’t associated with fever, so if your temperature is up, your sore throat may be related to a cold or other infection.
In case you have a sore throat and trouble or pain with swallowing, you should see your doctor because that can be a sign of strep throat, which is caused by bacteria. Your medical professional can do a test to learn if you have it, and if you are doing, your doctor can suggest an antibiotic to treat it.
Flu symptoms are similar to those of a cold (cough, stuffy nose area, fatigue, and aches), but also range from a temperature of more than 102 F, chills, and feeling sick. To treat flu, drink fluids and get plenty of rest to help your body fight the infection.
Colds and flu are caused by viruses, not bacteria, so antibiotics don’t work against them. Drinking clear fluids and getting plenty of rest is the better cure for both colds and flu. But if you are in high risk of difficulties from the flu (pregnant women, young children, seniors, or have a chronic medical condition), have symptoms for longer than 7 to 10 days, or your symptoms get worse rather than better, call your medical professional. In some cases, she may prescribe an antiviral medication to reduce the length of time that you’re sick with the flu.
Allergic reactions may stick around as long as you’re exposed to exactly what is triggering them and aren’t taking medication on their behalf or getting allergy shots. In case the allergy is triggered by something seasonal, such as tree pollen, your symptoms should clear upward when the pollen will go away. If it is caused by something that’s always present, such as a dog, the symptoms can be chronic.
Nasal decongestants can help relieve the stuffy nose caused by either colds or allergies. Nevertheless using nasal spray decongestants longer than 3 times can make nasal symptoms worse.
Children younger than 4 should not be given cough medicines (also known as antitussives or cough suppressants), and children of any age should not be given aspirin (because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome) or use decongestant nasal sprays.
You can get one any time of the year, but colds are most common in winter. This may be individuals spend more time inside, rendering it simpler to spread germs through immediate or indirect contact.
Pollen from trees, grass, and weeds is present in spring, summer, and fall. Tree pollen often leads to allergies in the early spring (April and May), turf and weed pollen induce allergies in the summer time (late May to July), and ragweed is in charge of some fall allergies (late August until the first frost).
Molds are fungi that grow where normal water collects. Outdoors this can mean on rotting wood logs or in compost or leaf piles. Indoors it can grow in damp areas, such as bath rooms, kitchens, or basements. Large levels of humidity or rainy weather can encourage mold growth and induce allergies.