Sniffing, sneezing, aches and pains… do you always seem to develop these symptoms around the same time every year? While many people always assume that respiratory symptoms are the sign of a seasonal cold, there’s a chance it is allergy related instead. Many people have allergic reactions to plants that bloom at a certain time of year, for instance. Others may have mold allergies that flare up each year when weather conditions align perfectly for spores to grow. Understanding the source of your respiratory symptoms can help you get the right treatment so that you can breathe better and enjoy better health.
It Might Be a Cold If…
Colds are caused by exposure to viruses. Often, if you are getting sick right around the time others in your school or office are, this can point to the problem being a cold. You may also be suffering from a cold if you have general aches and pains throughout your body. Colds are sometimes accompanied by fevers, as well, while allergy attacks aren’t. A sore throat and a cough can sometimes be suffered by people who have allergies; however, these symptoms are far more common with colds.
Signs That It Might Be Allergies
Allergies are a reaction to irritants in your environment. Pollen, animal dander, mold, and dust are common triggers. If you suffer from respiratory symptoms after exposure to any of these, allergy reactions can be to blame.
Symptoms of allergies typically include sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose with clear fluid. You may also experience fatigue, and a stuffy nose, but these are also common cold symptoms.
If you find your symptoms improve when taking allergy medicine such as antihistamines, there is a good chance your problems are caused by allergies. Antihistamines block the production of histamine in your system, which interrupts the signals that bring on allergy symptoms.
The Best Ways to Deal with Colds and Allergies
The good news about the misery of a cold is that it does not last long. In most cases, you should feel better within 7 to 10 days. While you are still suffering, you can ameliorate symptoms by taking over the counter pain relievers and decongestants. Drink plenty of fluids and get rest while you recover. If a cold progresses into a sinus infection, treatment from your doctor may be needed.
Allergies, however, are an ongoing issue. They will occur each time you are exposed to the allergens that are causing you grief. Thankfully, there are many good allergy treatment options available today. Many people find relief with over the counter antihistamines. However, if you have severe or frequent allergies, it may make sense to seek a longer-term treatment such as allergy shots or allergy drops.
Many people find their allergy or cold symptoms are exacerbated by sinus issues. If you have narrow or blocked sinus passages, a procedure like balloon sinuplasty can help.
Here, at American Sinus Institute, we can diagnose the source of your symptoms and help you find relief. Get in touch today for a consultation.