Common Symptoms of Cold and Allergies You Should Know
Common Symptoms of Cold and Allergies You Should Know

Colds and allergies are two extremely common conditions, somewhat similar in nature and expression, and affect both children as well as adults of all ages. According to a survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is not at all uncommon for an adult to suffer from cold two to three times a year. This survey also correctly concludes that children are more likely to suffer from more frequent bouts of cold every year immune system is still developing.

Allergies as a condition are also very common in both children and adults. According to a survey, around 50 million people in the country suffer from allergies. Read on to know more about the symptoms that help provide a difference between these two conditions.

Cold and allergies are not the same
It is true that the symptoms of these two conditions are somewhat similar, but cold and allergies themselves are fundamentally different from one another. These two conditions have significantly different causes and outbursts and the cold and allergies symptoms vary in type as well as the duration for which they last. If the doctor correctly identifies the cause behind the symptoms, then appropriate and timely treatment can be undertaken.

Symptoms of a common cold
Despite the apparent similarities between cold and allergies’ symptoms, the essential differences between them would be best explained if one understands these conditions would be beneficial.

A cold, which is also known as “the common cold,” is, more often than not, caused by a virus and its symptoms show that. There are many different types of viruses which are responsible for causing a cold. While the symptoms and their severity may differ from individual to individual, all types of cold generally share some of the same basic characteristics. Here are some of the most common symptoms of cold:

  • A runny nose with mucus being constantly secreted by the inner glands of the nose
  • In addition to the most common symptoms of coughing and sneezing, cold symptoms can often include a sore throat and a stuffy nose
  • The cold which is more severe in nature also has the potential to cause headaches, fever, and body aches for a considerable span of time.
  • Headaches are accompanied by fever in some serious cases. This is often the first symptom that surfaces.
  • If these symptoms last more than a week or two, then there is a possibility that the virus may have contributed to a more serious infection, for instance, a sinus infection, pneumonia, or even bronchitis.
  • Randomly feeling hot or cold throughout the day and generic nausea.

Symptoms of allergies
Allergies can occur when any particular patient’s immune system has an adverse reaction to certain substances. These are often established right from a tender age and doctors advise patients to stay away from whatever they are allergic to. When someone is exposed to an allergy trigger, which is defined as an allergen, the patient’s immune system releases chemicals in the body known as histamines. The histamines, when released by the body, are what causes allergy symptoms.

These cold and allergy symptoms are common to both the diseases, but they are more obvious and common in the case of allergies:

  • Sneezing, especially continuously
  • Coughing
  • A sore throat
  • A runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Watery eyes

Key differences between cold and allergy symptoms
Although cold and allergy symptoms may be similar, there are also many key differences. Sufferers should keep the following differences in mind when trying to identify whether they are experiencing the symptoms of a cold or an allergy:

  • If the eyes are itchy and watery, then those are often obvious signs that the symptoms have occurred due to an allergy.
  • A fever is a very common occurrence with a severe cold, especially in infants and children, but is not known as an allergy symptom.
  • A sore throat can occur when someone is suffering from allergies but it is a more common symptom with a cold.
  • Body aches are not a common occurrence in the case of allergies, but they might be common with a cold

Symptoms which are exclusive to that of a cold are as follows:

  • Fatigue and a pain in the body
  • Aches and pains
  • A sore throat and, at times, even a partially clogged throat

Symptoms which are exclusive to that of allergies are as follows:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Skin rashes, such as eczema or hives; these are common for a dermatological allergy

Thus, it is essential for all to understand the differences between the symptoms of these two apparently similar diseases. It is not desirable for any patient to be diagnosed with some disease which he or she does not have. Therefore, it is important for both the patient and the doctor concerned to analyze the symptoms carefully and then follow a treatment path.

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