Are you frustrated that your cold just isn’t going away, no matter how many home remedies you try? Well, it might not be a cold at all, but allergies instead.
Many people think that allergy season doesn’t begin until well into spring, when trees are in full bloom and pollen is in the air. But in reality, allergy season starts much sooner – when trees first begin to pollinate, usually in mid-February. So if you think you’ve just got a case of the winter sniffles, it may in fact be the start of seasonal allergies.
How to Tell the Difference Between a Cold and Allergies
Many of the symptoms of a cold and allergies are the same: runny nose, nasal/sinus congestion, sore throat and a cough. But there are a few other symptoms that can help differentiate between the two.
If you have allergies, one of the biggest tell-tale signs is red, itchy, watery eyes. If you have this symptom, you’re almost certainly experiencing allergies.
If you don’t have itchy eyes but are experiencing fever and body aches, you likely have a cold. In addition, a cold typically clears up within seven days; if your symptoms are persisting longer, it is likely you have allergies, but it may also be a sinus infection or the flu.
Some people argue that the color of your mucous can help determine between a cold and allergies, but this is often not the case. People with colds and allergies report clear, yellow or green mucous.
How to Seek Treatment
Unfortunately, there is no cure for a common cold. Over-the-counter medications, cough drops and nasal and throat sprays can help relieve symptoms. Other at-home remedies include gargling warm salt water, using a Neti pot, sipping warm beverages and using a humidifier. The best treatment for a cold, however, is lots of rest and staying hydrated.
Short-term allergy relief can be found with over-the-counter antihistamines, nasal sprays and eye drops. If your allergies are not well-managed by over-the-counter treatments or if you are looking for a more long-term solution, Pinnacle ENT Associates offers immunotherapy, which helps your body build up a tolerance for allergens so you have less of an allergic response over time.
For more information about cold and allergy solutions, call Pinnacle ENT Associates today!