The Difference between Seasonal Allergies and a Cold

 The symptoms of seasonal allergies can be very similar to those of the common cold. It’s important to know the differences so that you can use the right remedies to effectively relieve your symptoms. Read on to learn the differences in these conditions that so many people suffer from each year.

Seasonal Allergies Symptoms

  • Sudden onset
  • Spring/fall occurrence
  • Repetitive sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Itchy eyes, nose, throat, and roof of the mouth
  • Runny nose
  • Not usually accompanied by a fever

Cold Symptoms

  • Symptoms progress over the course of a few days
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion
  • Yellow or green mucus in the nose
  • Colds tend to last from three days to two weeks
  • Symptoms are accompanied by a fever
  • Aches and pains

Symptom Relief

Unfortunately, there is no cure for the common cold. You can, however, treat the symptoms. For natural relief try some rest and chicken soup. Yes, there actually have been studies done that show that chicken soup really does help relieve symptoms of the common cold.

If your symptoms are not relieved by these natural methods, try using over-the-counter medications, such as decongestants and cough suppressants. These can be used to suppress the bothersome symptoms until the cold runs its course. If you are not feeling better within two weeks or your symptoms get worse, be sure to see a doctor. Sometimes colds can progress into more serious conditions, like bronchitis or pneumonia.

Preventing Allergens

The first step in dealing with seasonal allergies is to try to avoid the offending allergens. It’s a good idea to take a shower at night before getting into bed. This will prevent you from bringing pollen that may be mingled in your hair or on your skin into the bed with you. Cover your mattress and pillows with allergy proof covers to keep the dust mites out. Keep your bedroom free from magazines and books. They tend to collect dust and mold.

Wear a protective dust mask when doing yard work to protect yourself from breathing in airborne allergens. On hot days it’s a good idea to keep your windows closed and run the air conditioner instead. Be sure not to allow indoor humidity levels to go over 50 percent. Dust mites and molds flourish in high humidity. Tobacco smoke can worsen allergy symptoms too, so be sure to keep your house a smoke free zone. Avoid using harsh cleaners around the house. These can irritate the nasal passages and worsen allergies.

Sometimes, avoidance measures aren’t enough to keep allergy symptoms at bay. Thankfully, there are other options available. Saline nasal sprays and neti pots are good, natural ways to relieve seasonal allergies. They work by flushing pollen from the sinus cavities. There are also many over-the-counter and prescription medications that treat seasonal allergy symptoms. These include anti-histamines, steroid nasal sprays and decongestants. Immunotherapy is also an option. By repeatedly injecting the patient with small amounts of the offending allergens, she becomes desensitized.

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