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September 1, 2017 | Allergy and Immunology • Ear, Nose, Throat
Many medical conditions share similar symptoms, and a good example is allergies and the common cold. The two conditions share symptoms like a runny nose and excess mucus, and it can often be difficult to tell the difference between the two.
Fortunately, there are some tell-tale signs of each condition if you know where to look. Here are some basic facts about allergies and the common cold, how to tell them apart and when a doctor’s care becomes necessary.
When broken down by their underlying causes, it’s easy to see how allergies and the cold are different. The cold is actually a form of infection, caused by a virus in the body. Allergies, on the other hand, represent the immune system’s response to certain triggers like pollen or pet dander. Colds can be passed through the air and through touch, while allergies cannot.
Allergies Are Likely If:
If you notice the following circumstances when you have these kinds of symptoms, it’s likely your condition is allergies and not a cold:
Cold Is Likely If:
On the other hand, it’s more likely you have a cold if the following circumstances are present:
When to Call a Doctor
Call your doctor if…
If your symptoms are disrupting your quality of life, consult with a doctor to find the best treatment and prevention method for you.
“Allergies, Cold or Flu: Why Do You Feel Icky?” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/allergies/sinus-nose-tool/allergies-or-cold?page=1
“Is It Allergies or a Cold?” Healthline. http://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/allergies-or-cold#1
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.