When To See A Healthcare Provider
Fevers are not inherently dangerous. They are a natural defense against illness. And while most fevers resolve on their own after a few days, fever and chills can sometimes be a sign of a more serious condition, such as meningitis.
- Stiffness of the neck
In addition, call your healthcare provider or seek medical attention for the following:
- In a child younger than 3 months: A temperature of 100.3 degrees F or greater
- Children ages 3 months to 1 year: A fever of 101 degrees F or greater that lasts more than 24 hours
- In older children and adults: A fever greater than 103 degrees F that does not respond to fever-reducing medicine, or a fever that does not improve after three days or has lasted more than five days
What You Should Do
Don’t be a hero and try to tough out an illness. Call your doctor to report any concerning symptoms, especially those of COVID-19 or flu; you may need a test and treatment.
“It’s a different era from when you didn’t want to bother your doctor,” Dr. Jha says. “Don’t deny yourself care. Your doctor would never want that. And the earlier you call, the sooner you can be treated if you need it.”
Allergies Have Chronic Symptoms
COVID-19, like the flu or common cold, is an acute illness, meaning people feel fine until symptoms start showing up.
Allergies, on the other hand, are usually chronic, presenting with symptoms off and on for weeks, months, or even years, Dr. David M. Cutler, family medicine physician at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, California, told Healthline.
Allergies should not cause a fever or body aches, Arthur said. Generally, no cough unless you have a lot of nasal drainage.
Allergies may also cause wheezing, she added, especially in people with asthma.
Allergy symptoms tend to vary with the environment: worsening with exposure to dust, pollen, or animal dander, whereas cold symptoms tend to persist regardless of time of day, weather, locality, or other environmental factors, Cutler said.
Also, as with COVID-19, Colds are more likely to have generalized symptoms like fever, headache, and body aches, whereas allergies usually affect only the respiratory tract, Cutler said. Allergy symptoms tend to improve with antihistamine and other allergy-specific medication. Colds are more likely to respond to decongestants, acetaminophen, fluids, and rest.
The CDC issued guidance on the differences in symptoms between COVID-19 and seasonal allergies.
The agency noted that things such as shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue, headache, and sore throat can be symptoms of either COVID-19 or allergies.
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You Have A Viral Or Bacterial Infection
When chills are accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, body aches or fatigue, theyre more likely associated with a systemic infection, such as flu or pneumonia.
Chills boost your bodys core temperature when your immune system attempts to fight off infection, Taroyan explains. Your body temperature increases, even though you might feel cold. If you have a viral infection, you will usually notice other symptoms along with chills, such as sore throat, cough, headache, fatigue and muscle aches. Most of the time, it can be self-limiting and will resolve within 2 weeks. Its important to get plenty of rest and increase your fluid intake.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Could anything else, such as a cold or the flu, be causing my symptoms?
- How do I figure out what Im allergic to?
- Is my allergy seasonal?
- I am allergic to _____. Am I at risk for any other allergies?
- What changes can I make at home to relieve my symptoms?
- Will any over-the counter medicines relieve my symptoms?
- What should I do if my symptoms get worse or dont respond to the treatment youve prescribed?
- Do I need to see an allergy specialist ?
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What Is The Difference Between A Cold And Flu
Flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. In general, flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms are more intense. Colds are usually milder than flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations. Flu can have very serious associated complications.
Ways To Manage Seasonal Allergies At Home
- Have your child wear a hat and sunglasses to prevent pollen from getting in their eyes.
- Remove your childs clothes as soon as they come indoors and wash them to remove allergens.
- Leave shoes at the door so your family doesnt track allergens through your home.
- Wash your childs hands and face as soon as they come in from the outdoors.;
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Can Allergic Rhinitis Be Prevented Or Avoided
Allergic rhinitis cannot be prevented. You can help your symptoms by avoiding the things that cause your symptoms, including:
- Keeping windows closed. This is especially important during high-pollen seasons.
- Washing your hands after petting animals.
- Using dust- and mite-proof bedding and mattress covers.
- Wearing glasses outside to protect your eyes.
- Showering before bed to wash off allergens from hair and skin.
You can also avoid things that can make your symptoms worse, such as:
- Aerosol sprays.
- Wood smoke.
Identify When Symptoms Start
So youve decided you probably have seasonal allergies. Great. But also, not great, because while allergies from pollen arent typically serious, they also arent fun.
Some people are like, Oh, its just allergies, but allergies can be debilitating. Quality of life goes down, people miss school and work;and theres an economic impact, says Dr. Drew Ayars, an allergist who sees patients at the allergy clinics at UW Medical Center Montlake and UW Medical Center Eastside Specialty Center.
Your first step toward getting relief is figuring out what kind of seasonal allergies you have.
Does your foggy-headed misery set in before the first flowers bloom? Or later in spring when everyone starts mowing their lawns again?
You dont have to be tested to know what youre allergic to. You can correlate symptoms to pollen counts around that time, he explains.
Thats because different types of pollen emerge at different times. In late winter and early spring, the most prevalent pollens are from trees hazelnut, birch, alder, oak, cottonwood, ash and juniper are especially common in the Seattle area, Rampur says. Mid- to late spring is full of grass pollen, and the biggest culprit in late summer to fall is weed pollen.
Once you notice when specifically your allergies flare up, you can put a plan in place for dealing with them .;
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When You Should See A Doctor
During this time of uncertainty, note any noticeable changes in your health and your eyes. Knowing the differences between symptoms for allergies and coronavirus is a good start.;
If you struggle with allergies or you exhibit symptoms of coronavirus, call your optician or your doctor.;
And, of course, be vigilant about taking the steps necessary to stay healthy and avoid coronavirus. Wash your hands, stay at home, maintain your social distance when outside, and try to relax as we wait out the rest of the coronavirus storm.
Understanding The Differences Between Allergies And Covid
If your child has a cough, a sore throat, and a runny nose, you probably wonder: Is it allergies or could it be COVID-19?
Allergy season has kicked off earlier this year than usual. This means that all of the time families are spending outdoors while social distancing could be leading to symptoms that look similar to COVID-19, the coronavirus that is making so many people sick in the area. But in many cases, these symptoms are actually triggered by a reaction to pollen or grass.;
Dr. Subhadra Siegel the director of the Allergy and Immunology Program at Boston Children’s Health Physicians, says its important for parents to know how to tell the difference between allergies and illnesses, such as the flu and COVID-19, so they can respond appropriately.
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Schedule A Telehealth Visit
Most BCHP pediatricians are now seeing patients remotely using telehealth visits to assess symptoms. In some cases, your child may need to go get a flu or strep test to rule out these other illnesses. COVID-19 tests are still limited, so your pediatrician will advise you on whether your child needs testing. BCHP physicians can also prescribe allergy medications remotely.
Learn more about our telehealth visits.;
Are You Sure Those Are Allergies
Even if you dont have a fever, you should make sure to take good care of yourself. Untreated allergies can cause serious sinus infections and even asthma down the line. If you try to self-medicate, or worse, ignore your symptoms, you could end up doing more harm than good.
Watch out for bad breath, yellow or green mucus, and any chills or hot flashes. It may just be a simple case of the sniffles now, but if you dont speak with your physician about the proper treatment plans, your allergies will cause more than a fever down the line. Final Thoughts:
So, the answer, in short, is yes: allergies can cause fever. However, they dont cause fever in the way you might expect. If youve been struggling with allergies this year, dont brush them off. Make a call to your local Buffalo ENT to discuss your symptoms and possible treatment options. The longer your symptoms go untreated, the worse they could become. So, take care of them today.
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How Can You Tell If Youre Dealing With Covid
Experts say there are a few major clues. First, one of the hallmark signs of COVID-19 is a fever a symptom that allergies do not cause, says Purvi Parikh, M.D., an allergist and immunologist with the Allergy & Asthma Network.
Allergies are also more likely to lead to itchy eyes and skin reactions , while this isnt as common with COVID-19, Dr. Parikh says. COVID-19 is also much more likely to cause a new lost sense of smell or taste, which research shows is becoming more and more common with the virus.
Your personal history matters, too.Most people know their allergy symptomsthey recognize them and have them seasonally, says Fred Pelzman, M.D., an internist at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian.But we have seen a range of symptoms with COVID-19. Ive seen people who have just had a runny nose, a little cough, and watery eyes.
The confusion is understandable, Dr. Pelzman adds.Nothing is an allergy symptom that couldnt be COVID, he says.If patients have always felt this way with their allergies, thats probably a good indicator its allergies. But if you get a fever, which you dont have with allergies, or never had a cough or shortness of breath with allergies, it could be COVID.
Ask For Allergy Shots
If antihistamines, nasal spray and staying inside arent controlling your symptoms, theres a more extreme measure you can take: getting allergy shots.
Like vaccines that protect you against viruses, there are shots that can prevent your body from reacting to pollen exposure. They treat the underlying problem rather than just the symptoms.
Unlike regular vaccines, however, you cant just get one allergy shot and call it good.
You have to come in regularly for shots for three to five years, its labor intensive and there are potential risks, Ayars explains.
Those risks range from mild things like redness at the injection site, to hives, to rare but serious things like anaphylactic shock.
Still, if youre someone who used to have mild sniffles during spring pollen season and now cant get through the day without antihistamines, it might be worth talking with your doctor about other treatments including allergy shots.;
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Should I Stop My Antibiotic If I’m Having A Side Effect
If you are experiencing a bothersome or serious antibiotic side effect, you should contact your health care provider to discuss your symptoms. The outcomes may include:
- Staying on the same antibiotic and managing the side effect
- Adjusting the dose
- Switching to a different antibiotic
In most cases, antibiotic treatment should not be stopped without a health care providers approval; all medication should be finished. Stopping antibiotics early may allow the infection to worsen and may lead to antibiotic resistance, making the antibiotic less effective. Even if the infection appears to have cleared up before all of the medication is gone, the full course of antibiotic treatment should always be completed unless you are told otherwise by your doctor.
What Are The Most Common Side Effects Of Antibiotics
All medications have side effects, including antibiotics. Antibiotics are medications that treat infections by killing bacteria or other organisms or slowing their growth. An antibiotic side effect occurs as an unwanted reaction that occurs in addition to the desirable therapeutic action of the antibiotic you are taking. Side effects of antibiotics can range from mild allergic reactions to severe and debilitating adverse events. When used appropriately, most antibiotics are relatively safe with few side effects. However, some side effects may interfere with your ability to finish the medication. In these cases, you should contact your doctor.
Common side effects with antibiotics include:
- Mild skin rash or other allergic reactions
- Soft stools, short-term diarrhea
- Fungal vaginal infections or oral thrush;
More severe antibiotic side effects include:
- Severe allergic reaction that results in difficulty breathing, facial swelling
- Severe watery or bloody diarrhea; Clostridium difficileinfection
- Stomach cramps
- Yeast infections in the mouth or vagina
These side effects are extremely variable; however, there are some common side effects that may occur within larger antibiotic drug classes, as described in Table 1. Long term side effects of antibiotics can occur, but are infrequent.
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The Difference Between Allergies & Colds:
When you have a bacterial or viral infection, your body will trigger an immune response. Chemicals called pyrogens, which are produced by white blood cells, cause the temperature in the body to rise. This is a normal inflammatory response that helps to kill off heat-sensitive bacteria.
Allergens, on the other hand, set off no such reaction. During an allergic reaction, your body releases histamines, which make you sneeze and cough. Histamines are only released during allergic reactions, which is why you shouldnt take anti-histamine medication for the common cold or flu.
Are Antibiotics Effective For A Cold Or Flu
Antibiotics are used to kill bacterial infections; they are not effective against viral infections, such as a cold or the flu, or against fungal infections, like ringworm or vaginal yeast infections.
You should avoid demanding an antibiotic from your healthcare provider when you have a viral infection as it will not cure your infection; it might actually make it worse. In addition, this adds to the problem of antibiotic resistance, and it costs you money you do not need to spend. Your doctor can offer symptomatic treatment to ease your viral infection, or prescribe specific anti-viral medications if appropriate.
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How Is Allergic Rhinitis Diagnosed
If your symptoms interfere with your daily life, see your family doctor. Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and medical history and perform a physical exam. Keeping a record of your symptoms over a period of time can help your doctor determine what triggers your allergies.
Your doctor may want to do an allergy skin test to determine what you are allergic to. During an allergy skin test, tiny amounts of allergens are applied to your skin. You will feel tiny pricks to your skin. It is not painful. Your doctor will observe and record the way your skin reacts to each allergen.
Your doctor may also decide to do a blood test, such as the radioallergosorbent test . This test identifies antibodies in your blood that determine what youre allergic to. Once your allergens are identified, you and your doctor can decide the best treatment.
Infection Due To A Kidney Stone
You might get chills because of an infection that starts when you have a kidney stone.
Sometimes minerals and salts stick together to form a hard mass inside your kidney called a kidney stone. This is more likely to happen if you don’t drink enough water each day, eat a diet that’s high in protein, or have a high body mass index
If the kidney stone irritates or blocks your urinary tract, it can cause an infection, which could cause chills.
Other symptoms you might get with kidney stones are:
- Pain in your side, back, belly, or groin
- Pain when you pee
- Pee more or less than you usually do
- Cloudy urine that smells funny
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Living With Allergic Rhinitis
Living with the symptoms of allergic rhinitis can affect your daily life. Nasal symptoms can be worse when lying down. This can disturb your ability to sleep well. Fatigue and headaches can affect your ability to function at school and work. There are many medicines and treatments that can help you manage your symptoms. Talk to your doctor as soon as you feel that your symptoms are getting worse or are not easy to control. He or she can help you come up with the right plan to control them so they dont affect your ability to live your normal life.
Despite Symptoms Its Not The Flu
COVID-19 is not the flu.
As one of a class of pathogens known as coronaviruses, its actually more closely related to the common cold than the seasonal flu.
However, despite some overlap, the typical symptoms of COVID-19 are more similar to the flu than the common cold .
The new delta variant of COVID-19, however, may have more cold-like symptoms.
In terms of differentiating between flu and COVID-19, it can be almost impossible to distinguish, Dr. Jake Deutsch, co-founder and clinical director of Cure Urgent Care centers and Specialty Infusion in New York. Thats why people are recommended to have flu vaccinations so it can at least minimize the risk of flu in light of everything else.
Fevers, body aches, coughing, sneezing could all be equally attributed to them both, so it really means that if theres a concern for flu, theres a concern for COVID-19, Deutsch said.
If you have a mild case of COVID-19, the flu, or a cold, treatment is geared toward management of symptoms, said Cutler.
Generally, acetaminophen is recommended for fevers, he said. Cough drops and cough syrups can also help keep mucus secretions thinner. If there is associated nasal congestion, antihistamines may be useful.
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