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Seasonal Allergies vs. Common Cold

With the cold season coming to a close and seasonal allergies starting to pick up, it’s often difficult to differentiate between the two. While both are uncomfortable, they require different treatment for those suffering. To determine which course of action will best calm your symptoms, it’s important to understand the difference between the common cold and seasonal allergies.

The Difference Between a Cold and Allergies

Common colds are caused by viruses. They’re typically passed between individuals through hard surfaces or airborne pathogens. When determining whether or not you’re dealing with a cold, take a look at your symptoms. A cold is typically accompanied by a cough, sore throat, sneezing, and congestion. In some cases, you may also experience a fever and aches and pains. While there’s no cure for the common cold, there’s plenty that you can do to help you heal. Warm baths, rest, and decongestants are a great place to start. Typically, a cold will only last three to ten days, depending on the severity.

Allergies are a little bit different than colds. They’re a reaction caused by the nervous system in response to environmental allergens, like pets, trees, or grass pollens. When dealing with seasonal allergies, you may notice that your eyes are watery and itchy, you have a runny nose, and sometimes a cough. To treat seasonal allergies, use nasal sprays, decongestants, and antihistamines as recommended by your physician. If possible, avoid exposure to allergens as much as possible.

How do you know if it’s allergies or a cold?

If you’re experiencing cold symptoms repeatedly at the same time each year, this would be an indication that you’re actually having a reaction to environmental allergens. Allergies do not cause aches and pains or fevers which are common symptoms of a cold. Finally, seasonal allergy symptoms generally last longer. If your cold symptoms last longer than ten days, that could be an indication that you’re suffering from allergies instead.

Visit Lanier Urgent Care

Colds and seasonal allergies rarely require the intervention of a physician. However, if you’re finding it difficult to breathe or if your symptoms aren’t improving, you should consider consulting with a medical professional such as your general practitioner or even an urgent care provider. Lanier Urgent Care is open seven days a week, making it easy for you to receive the medical care that you need. We are dedicated to the health of our patients. On top of extended office hours, we also provide online appointments, allowing you to receive medical advice from our doctors without ever having to leave your home. Allow our expert staff to help you feel better. 

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