Allergies or Cold?
It's Springtime! Love is in the air. And pollen. Birdsong accents the colorful displays and smells of fresh flowers. Then your drippy nose and scratchy red eyes ruin everything and make it hard to concentrate. You have tissues everywhere, and you've rubbed your nose raw. Worse yet, you don't even know if it's allergies or a cold.
You just want to focus, get done with your work, enjoy the weather, and not feel sick or drowsy.
Here's some tips to tell if it's cold or allergies so you can feel great and work better!
Tired of allergies and medications making you drowsy? This post is for you!
What causes allergies?
Allergy symptoms come from your body's immune response to particles that are harmless in most people. Pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and dust mites are common allergens. Allergies have many of the same symptoms as colds:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Red eyes
Watch: Entertaining animated video about immune response and histamine
What causes colds?
You can get cold symptoms at any time of year from over 200 types of viruses spread by coughing and sneezing. Covering your cough and washing your hands are great contributions to public health!
Allergies or Cold? Key Differences
- Itchy eyes and/or skin
- Symptoms seem to come out of nowhere
- Similar symptoms around this time every year
- Lasts 7-10 days
- Symptoms come on over the course of a few days
- Fever more common than with allergies
(Ask your health care provider about medicine, especially if symptoms last longer than 2 weeks.)
Some over the counter treatments for allergies cause drowsiness. They make it hard to keep your eyes open and stay alert- inconvenient for work time!
- Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
- Aller-Chlor (chlorpheniramine)
Instead, consider treatments less likely to cause you to feel sleepy:
- Claritin, Alavert (loratidine)
- Zyrtec (cetirizine)
- Allegra (fexofenadine)
- Xyzal (levocetirizine)
- Clarinex (desloratadine)
Read more: Allergy Medications: Know your Options
Not being sure if you have allergies or a cold is tough beyond the symptoms. I hope this mini-post gives you clarity and makes your day a little easier!