Allergies and the common cold both cause you to sneeze, sniffle, and cough. With several similar symptoms, it's no wonder most patients confuse one for the other. However, knowing the difference between the two will allow you to get the appropriate family medicine treatment for your condition. It will also help you to be more cautious of triggers that cause the symptoms.
What Are the Signs of a Common Cold?
Various strains of viruses cause the common cold. You can catch a cold if you get exposed to droplets when an infected patient sneezes or coughs, and its symptoms usually last from seven to 10 days.
What makes the common cold distinct from allergies is the other symptoms, such as sore throat, fever, headaches, and body aches. Symptoms of colds are usually managed with pain relievers, decongestants, and cough syrups.
However, the virus could also contribute to more severe infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia. In such a case, a family medicine practitioner would change the course of treatment depending on the illness.
To avoid the common cold, it's vital to wash or sanitize your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, and keep household surfaces clean.
How Are Allergies Different From the Common Cold?
On the other hand, allergies are caused by your immune system's reaction to substances such as dust mites, animal dander, and certain types of food like nuts.
Though it also causes sneezing, coughing, and sore throat, it doesn't usually come with body aches or fever. Also, allergies can cause itchy and watery eyes, which is a rare symptom for colds. The color of your mucus can even say a lot about your ailment. Mucus caused by allergies is clear but is discolored and thick for colds.
The symptoms are usually alleviated with antihistamines, decongestants, nasal corticosteroids, and eye drops. Family medicine practitioners advise patients to avoid triggers as much as possible to prevent symptoms in the first place.
Whether you're suffering from the common cold, allergies, or any other ailment, the family medicine practitioners at HDR Healthcare Network can help you. Serving patients in the Bronx, this practice has a team of experts well-versed in pediatrics, home health care, internal medicine, and other related services. Call (929) 256-5005 or visit their website for more information about their services.