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Difference Between Allergies and A Cold

Allergies vs A Cold

Every year, many suffer from simple symptoms of allergies and cold. Unfortunately, many fail to address these problems effectively because of their inability to recognize what the actual symptom is. So is it an allergy or just a cold?

Symptom-wise, an allergy differs from a cold because it never induces fever, aches, pains, and extreme exhaustion. It rarely causes headaches and chest discomfort. Sometimes, allergies cause mild fatigue, sore throat and cough. Sneezing, runny and stuffy nose are common. On the contrary, a cold may cause mild to moderate chest discomfort. Cough is also more common. In fact, the cough may manifest as hacking cough. Sore throat is more common in a cold than in allergies. And unlike allergies that never induce aches and fever, a cold can contribute to slight pain and a little fever (although rare).

As mentioned, you need to recognize the symptoms of a cold and allergies properly in order for you to effectively address them. Once the diagnosis of either a cold or allergy has been established, it is the right time to begin treatment with the appropriate medications. Some drugs, like antihistamines and steroids, may be used for both allergy and cold. Nevertheless, allergies usually necessitate prescription nasal steroids while a patient suffering from a cold may need aspirin and other painkillers like ibuprofen to combat the pains, if there are any.

Allergy usually happens because a person has been exposed to an allergen that he or she easily gets an allergic reaction to. Hence, if you know what substances or things you are allergic to then you must get away from them. Some of the common allergens are pollen, molds, animal dander, cockroaches and house dust mites among others. The best preventive measures for cold symptoms are proper hand washing and staying away from persons who are known to have active cold symptoms.

Medical practitioners and other health care workers need to emphasize however the importance of treating the initial signs of either allergy or cold because if either one is left unchecked then the person suffering from such may develop far more complicated conditions like asthma and sinus infection in the case of allergy. Similarly, untreated cold symptoms may lead to sinus congestion, asthma and infection of the middle ear.

  1. A cold may induce body aches and fever (rare) unlike allergies that never lead to such.
  2. Cough and sore throat is more common in a cold than in an allergy.
  3. Allergy is best prevented by staying away from potential allergens while a cold is best prevented by hand washing.


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