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Allergies vs. Cold: How to Tell The Difference

Allergies and colds are common conditions that you may experience throughout the year. Due to the overlapping symptoms of these ailments, it may be challenging to figure out the cause of your discomfort. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between allergies and colds, as well as the available methods to treat them. 

What are Allergies?

Allergies occur as a reaction to an irritant or allergen. The foreign substance gets recognized as an allergen by your body, resulting in inflammation of the nasal tissues. 

Unlike colds, allergies are not contagious. This is because allergies aren’t caused by bacteria or viruses. Also, it’s uncommon to have a fever if you’re suffering from allergies. 

Although there is no definitive treatment for those experiencing allergies, there are methods you can use to manage its symptoms. Some of these methods include over-the-counter anti-allergy medications and allergy shots from an immunologist. 

Seeing an allergist can help figure out the particular allergen that causes your symptoms to flare. Allergens that commonly cause allergies include:

  • Animal dander
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Dust

How Colds Differ From Allergies

Colds are caused by viruses. Due to the viral nature of the condition, colds are contagious. A cold can be transferred to another person with close contact. A fever, sore throat, and fatigue are more common if you’re suffering from a cold rather than allergies. 

You can prevent colds by maintaining good hand hygiene and avoiding close contact with someone who’s suffering from a cold. 

When it comes to treating a cold, the best option is to let it resolve on its own. Your body will naturally fight the virus and gain temporary immunity from the virus by producing antibodies.

You can manage your symptoms and recover quicker by getting rest, replenishing fluids, and eating a balanced diet. Nasal saline rinses and decongestants may be taken over the counter to assist with symptom management. 

If you’re suffering from a chronic cold or allergies, ENT Associates can help. Our specialists are trained in diagnosing and managing conditions involving the ear, nose, and throat. Contact us for an appointment!

Contact Us

ENT Associates Main Office

1330 South Fort Harrison
Clearwater, FL 33756

Phone: 727-441-3588
Fax: 727-461-1038

Hours of Business: 8:00AM - 5:00PM

Extended Hours:
Countryside until 6:30PM (Thu Only)
Port Richey until 6:30PM (Alt Wed Only)

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