Are your allergies flaring up, or do you have the common cold? During this time of year, it’s hard to tell; the autumn and winter months are notorious for plenty of overlap between the two conditions, meaning someone can actually have a cold and allergies simultaneously.
But for this blog, we’ll tell you how to distinguish between a cold and allergies. The differences are subtle, and the similarities are numerous – that’s why it’s so hard to figure out what’s ailing you half the time. There is one surefire way to differentiate between a cold and allergies – read on to find out what it is.
Allergies and the Common Cold – Causes
Before figuring out the different symptoms between a cold and allergies, it helps to understand exactly what each malady is – and how they get started. Allergies are due to an overactive immune system. Whenever relatively harmless foreign substances like dust or pollen enter the body, a strong (too strong, in fact) immunity reaction thinks those elements are anything but harmless, and you suffer from a runny nose or excessive sneezing.
A cold, meanwhile, is much more serious than things like dust and pollen. Caused by an external virus that gets into the body, a cold also triggers a strong immune response. The subsequent symptoms – cough, runny nose, etc. – are the aftershocks of the battle raging inside your body as the immune system attacks the invading virus.
Key Symptom Differences
Three primary symptoms are common with a cold and allergies: cough, runny nose and stuffy nose. A fever is rare with a cold, and never accompanies allergies. Sneezing happens quite frequently with a cold and allergies. So what’s the definitive symptom to separate the two?
It’s all in the eyes – in fact, itchy eyes. Whenever your eyes feel itchy, that’s because of excessive histamine, a substance released to combat allergies. If you have itchy eyes and a combination of any other symptom listed above, you have allergies.
If you’re experiencing cold or allergy symptoms and need medical attention, Urgent Care Extra can help today. Our in-house certified doctors and support staff can help get you back to normal as quickly as possible. Aside from allergies and colds, UCE also offers flu shots as well.
Stop by one of our walk-in clinics today – we have more than 40 clinics across Arizona and Nevada. For more information on Urgent Care Extra, please call our main office at (480) 988-9108. Thanks for reading the UCE blog – check back for more healthful tips, news and more!