Just as cold and flu season is easing up, it’s time for spring allergies to hit. You can develop allergies at any age, so knowing how to differentiate between colds and allergies can help you figure out the best methods to treat whatever you’re dealing with.
What Causes Colds vs. Allergies
While colds are caused by viruses, allergies are actually the result of an overactive immune system. Colds are contagious and spread via contact with other infected individuals. Allergies, on the other hand, occur when your body mistakes harmless substances for germs an sets off an immune response.
The Symptoms of Colds vs. Allergies
Symptoms of both colds and allergies can include congestion, coughing and a runny of stuffy nose. A good clue that you’re suffering from allergies is itchy, watery eyes. If you’re dealing with a fever, sore throat or body aches, there’s a better chance you’ve picked up the common cold.
The Onset and Duration of Colds vs. Allergies
Colds usually take a few days to appear after exposure to and infection with a virus, whereas allergies can occur immediately upon exposure to the allergen. Colds rarely last no longer than two weeks, whereas allergies will last as long as you’re exposed to the allergen (or until you adopt an effective treatment).
The Prevention of Colds vs. Allergies
Avoiding colds can be difficult, but washing your hands often and avoiding contact with people who have colds can go a long way toward helping you stay healthy.
While the development of allergies can’t be avoided, exposure to allergens can sometimes be lessened. Pay attention to the allergen counts, and avoid going outside when they’re extremely high. If you’re allergic to dust, replace your air filter more often and vacuum regularly. If you’re allergic to pet dander, either avoid pets or choose an allergy-friendly breed.
The Treatment of Colds vs. Allergies
Both antihistamines and decongestants can help you feel better when suffering from either allergies or a cold. Nasal steroids and allergy shots can be affective against allergies. For colds, get extra rest, drink plenty of water, and stick to over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to treat associated fevers, aches and pains.
Boost Your Immune System with a Myers’ Cocktail
One thing that can help your body fight both allergies and colds is to keep your immune system strong. The Myers’ Cocktail at IVX Health can go a long way toward making sure your body is primed and ready to fight off anything that comes your way.
We offer appointments based on your schedule, which means you can visit us during the day, evenings or even on weekends. We also have two, easy-to-access locations on either side of the state line in Lee’s Summit and Overland Park, so we’re nearby no matter which side of the Greater Kansas City area you’re located in.
We also feature comfortable recliners, HDTVs, iPads, Kindles loaded with current bestsellers, and private rooms so you can relax on your own or even spend time with friends or loved ones. We’ll even provide the drinks and snacks.
If you’re ready to experience the difference IVX Health can make in your life, give us a call at either one of our locations.