Since their symptoms are quite similar, common colds and allergies are usually mistaken for each other. Some of these symptoms include fatigue, runny nose, and fatigue. In this article, you will learn the difference between the common cold and allergies.
What Are Allergies?
An allergy is a disorder of the immune system which makes the body react violently against harmless substances or things, e.g. pollen, cats, milk, et cetera.
How do allergic reactions happen? When a person comes in contact with a substance or thing, the immune system releases chemicals that can cause itching, sneezing, inflamed lungs, et cetera.
If not treated urgently and properly, allergic reactions can be fatal.
What Is The Common Cold?
When viruses find their way into the cells lining the nose, bronchi, and pharynx, the immune system reacts to them. It reacts by opening the blood vessels and increasing the secretion of mucus in the nose. And that’s what causes the common cold.
How To Tell The Difference Between Common Colds And Allergies
Many people find it hard to differentiate between a common cold and an allergic reaction because they have similar symptoms. How can you tell them apart?
1. Allergies do not cause a fever
Common colds happen as a result of bacterial or viral infections of the nose, bronchi, and pharynx. However, allergies are not caused by bacterial infections. They’re caused by a malfunction of the immune system.
Hence, allergy treatments are different from common cold treatments, because they’re caused by different things.
2. The duration of illness
Allergies occur and stay for as long as you’re exposed to allergens — substances or things that cause allergic reactions. On the other hand, common cold symptoms don’t exceed a week or thereabouts.
Any symptoms of a cold you experience at a particular season every year might not actually be a common cold. It’s more likely to be an allergic reaction because the common cold doesn’t occur seasonally, but on contact with viruses or bacteria.
3. How the symptoms emerge
Common cold symptoms don’t immediately appear on the body. After infection, it might take about 3 days for symptoms to begin to manifest. Symptoms usually go from mild to severe.
Allergic reactions, on the other hand, occur immediately after contact with allergens. Symptoms can be violent immediately.
4. Exclusive symptoms of allergic reactions
Symptoms like rashes, itchy skin, itchy eyes, and wheezing (in the case of asthma) are exclusive to allergic reactions. This means they don’t occur when a person is experiencing a common cold. After all, the affected parts during a common cold are the nose, bronchi, and pharynx.
5. Allergies cannot be contracted
Allergies are incommunicable. i.e. they can’t be passed from person to person. However, if you come in contact with someone who has a common cold, you’re likely to get infected as well.
It’s not enough for you to just know the difference between a common cold and an allergic reaction. You should be able to determine the next line of action.
If you begin to experience symptoms of either illness, you should visit a pulmonologist. Who is a Pulmonologist? A Pulmonologist is a doctor who specializes in taking care of the lungs and everything related to them.
If you need more information about respiratory issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. At PCC, your health is our priority! We are passionate about delivering quality healthcare services and helping you access concise Information about lung-related health issues.