How To Treat Colds Vs Allergies
Since the symptoms of colds and allergies are similar, so will their treatments. “For most run-of-the-mill allergy or cold symptoms, the treatments are about the same, so it really doesn’t matter too much if you try to tell them apart,” Dr. Rosenstreich said.
The main difference is that allergies won’t affect others. “With a cold, you probably don’t want to go into work and make everyone else sick, whereas with allergies, people will just tell you not to come near them, but you’re not actually contagious,” Dr. Rosenstreich explained.
Both allergy and cold treatments are what’s called symptomatic, Dr. Rosenstreich added, meaning they won’t make the issue go away. They’ll only treat the symptoms that are making you miserable. Experts typically recommend over-the-counter oral decongestants and antihistamines as well as nasal sprays to reduce inflammation and congestion in both cases, Dr. Parikh said.
If you’ve got a coldor another virusthat’s causing body aches or a fever, you might also want to try something to ease the pain and lower your temperature, like acetaminophen or aspirin, Dr. Metcalfe added.
While getting plenty of rest can help you get over a cold, it won’t do much for allergies. However, be sure to drink plenty of fluids, no matter your issue. “Dehydration makes allergies and colds worse,” Dr. Parikh said. “Fluids help relieve congestion.”
Treatment For Asthma From Pollen Allergies
If you have asthma caused by pollens, your doctor will prescribe the correct medication and help you to develop a plan to manage your asthma. Make sure you follow your asthma action plan.
Asthma can be well controlled with the appropriate medication in almost all people. The main types of medication are:
- Relievers act quickly to relax the muscles around the airways. This is the medication used during an asthma attack.
- Preventers slowly make the airways less sensitive to allergy triggers and reduce inflammation inside the airways. These are taken daily.
- Combination therapies preventers containing 2 different medications.
If you have an asthma attack, follow your asthma action plan. In case of emergency, call triple zero and ask for an ambulance. Tell the operator that someone is having an asthma attack.
The signs of an emergency include when the person:
- finds it very difficult to breathe
- is unable to speak comfortably or if their lips are turning blue
- has symptoms that get worse very quickly
- is getting little or no relief from their reliever inhaler.
While waiting for the ambulance, give 4 puffs of reliever medication every 4 minutes.
Symptoms Of Allergic Rhinitis
Your symptoms can vary, depending on the severity of your allergies. Symptoms can include:
- Runny nose
- Pressure in the nose and cheeks
- Ear fullness and popping
- Watery, red, or swollen eyes
- Dark circles under your eyes
- Trouble smelling
Allergic rhinitis can last several weeks, longer than a cold or the flu. It does not cause fever. The nasal discharge is thin, watery, and clear. Nasal discharge from a cold or the flu tends to be thicker. Itching is common with hay fever but not with a cold or the flu. Sneezing occurs more with hay fever. You may even have severe sneeze attacks.
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No : Chronic Congestion
If you have a cold or the flu, your stuffy nose should go away in a week or two. If congestion goes on and on, allergies are more likely to blame. During an allergic reaction, the lining of your nasal passages swells and makes extra mucus. You might get sinus pressure and headaches. Nasal steroids are used to reduce the mucosal inflammation in your nasal passages caused by allergies. For a long-term action plan, talk to an allergist.
Consider Immunotherapy Allergy Drops
While allergy medications provide short-term relief from symptoms, and often lose their effectiveness if overused, immunotherapy is a more long-term approach to allergy fatigue treatment. Immunotherapy slowly introduces the body to more and more of the allergen it is allergic to so that it builds up a tolerance and no longer reacts as strongly. Allergy shots are an older form of immunotherapy that are very effective, but this treatment has some associated risks and requires frequent office visits. Allergy drops are just as effective but can be done easily from home with daily drops under the tongue, making this one of the best ways to manage and eliminate allergies causing fatigue.
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How To Prevent Allergy Fatigue
The best way to prevent allergy fatigue is to find an effective treatment option for your allergies. The first step in managing allergies and preventing symptoms like fatigue is to find out which specific allergens trigger your reactions. After this diagnosis, there are ways to minimize allergies and avoid fatigue. You can minimize allergy fatigue in several ways:
Why Do Seasonal Allergies Make Us Tired
Seasonal allergies can do more than just cause a runny nose or coughwhen left untreated, they can lead to drowsiness and poor concentration, too.
Allergy fatigue is the result of your body working hard to fight off a foreign invader. Its similar to the way your body fights a virus like the common cold or the flu, which can also leave you feeling drained.
When you have an allergic response to something like dust, pollen, or pet dander, your body also releases proteins , which can cause inflammation in your nose. Chronic inflammation has been linked to fatigue and depression.
Allergies can also indirectly cause you to feel tired during the day by disrupting your sleep at night. Common allergy symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and congestion can make it hard to get a good nights rest, making it hard to stay focused the next day.
Treating seasonal allergy tiredness isnt always simple, either. Common medications like Benadryl often cause drowsiness as a side effect. Fortunately, there are ways to manage fatigue and stay alert during allergy season.
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Allergies Can Cause Or Worsen Sleep Apnea
When dealing with allergy symptoms such as congestion, coughing, sneezing, or a runny nose, you may naturally breathe through your mouth instead of your nose. While this can help increase airflow to your lungs, it can also create or exacerbate another condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea causes your airways to be blocked while you sleep, which can interrupt sleep throughout per night. This results in less deep sleep and can lead to waking up with feelings of fatigue.
Causes Of Pollen Allergies
For all allergies, the immune system reacts to specific allergy trigger molecules . Your immune system produces antibodies that detect the allergen and cause inflammatory reactions and the release of a chemical called histamine. Histamine causes hay fever symptoms, such as itchy and watery nose and eyes, and sneezing.
In Victoria, inland areas tend to have higher pollen counts and northerly winds can bring pollens from inland regions to the coastal areas, including Melbourne. In contrast, the east coast of Australia often has less pollen, because winds tend to blow in from the sea and the Great Dividing Range protects the coast from inland winds. In South Australia and Western Australia, levels of pollen in the air vary, depending on wind direction.
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What Causes Allergic Rhinitis
If you have allergies, your body releases chemicals when you are exposed to an allergen. One such chemical is called histamine. Histamine is your bodys defense against the allergen. The release of histamine causes your symptoms.
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen. Pollen comes from flowering trees, grass, and weeds. If you are allergic to pollen, you will notice your symptoms are worse on hot, dry days when wind carries the pollen. On rainy days, pollen often is washed to the ground, which means you are less likely to breathe it. Your allergies can vary depending on the time of year:
- Allergies that occur in the spring are often due to tree pollen.
- Allergies that occur in the summer are often due to grass and weed pollen.
- Allergies that occur in the fall are often due to ragweed.
Allergens that can cause perennial allergic rhinitis include:
- Mold is common where water tends to collect, such as shower curtains and damp basements. It can also be found in rotting logs, hay, and mulch. This allergy is usually worse during humid and rainy weather.
- Animal dander.The skin, saliva, and urine of furry pets such as cats and dogs are allergens. You can be exposed to dander when handling an animal or from house dust that contains dander.
- Many allergens, including dust mites, are in dust. Dust mites are tiny living creatures found in bedding, mattresses, carpeting, and upholstered furniture. They live on dead skin cells and other things found in house dust.
I Have A Sore Throat A Cough A Headache And Some Muscle Aches As Well But No Fever Could It Be Covid
Many seasonal allergies cause sore throat, and can aggravate a cough or underlying asthma, or sinus headaches. Body aches are typically something that accompanies fevers, including the flu or COVID-19 . But as many people continue to work in less ergonomic work-from-home offices, such as a couch or kitchen table, minor muscle injuries and fatigue can happen, which can feel achy. Add the stress and difficulty of this historic time, and many people may not feel their best.
Sore throat, cough, and headache alone dont necessarily mean you have COVID-19, says Dr. Fung. But if you start to have some of the other key symptoms of COVID, such as cough or loss of smell, or a change in the allergy symptoms that are normal for you, you may want to get tested
One of my patients complained of noticing a moldy smell that didnt go away, despite taking her allergy medication more regularly, says Dr. Fung. That patient ended up testing positive for COVID-19.
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How To Prevent Allergy
Step one is getting to the source of whats causing your allergies in the first place. An allergist can help you do just that. He or she can perform allergy testing by skin testing or by blood work to help identify any allergy triggers, says Patricia Takach, M.D., an allergist and immunologist with Penn Medicine.
Once you know whats triggering an allergic reaction, do your best to avoid those substances, says David Corry, M.D., professor of medicine in immunology, allergy, and rheumatology at Baylor College of Medicine. That means taking steps like staying indoors on high pollen count days and making a few lifestyle changes such as showering when you come indoors, cleaning your sheets regularly, and keeping petswho can carry things like pollen and grassout of your bed. Wearing a face mask when youre outdoors can also help filter out pollen and other allergens that may be irritating.
Youll also want to do your best to prioritize sleep to help you recharge at night and keep your bodys immune system in prime working order, Dr. Wada says.
Make drinking water a priority, too. Staying well hydrated can help thin out mucous and also help with some aspects of fatigue as well, Dr. Wada says. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend that men aim to take in 15.5 cups of fluids a day and that women strive for 11.5 cups a day.
How to treat allergy-related fatigue
Allergies Do Not Cause Fevers
People often wonder if allergies can cause a fever. The answer is no. Allergies cannot cause a fever, though you could have an allergy flare-up at the same time youre experiencing a fever from an infection. For example, since allergies tend to cause stuffy noses, theyre also considered risk factors for sinus infections. Sinus infections happen when mucus gets trapped in the sinuses, allowing bacteria or viruses to grow.
With a cold, your temperature can run warmer, but typically it will be less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Your Medication Is Wiping You Out
Zyrtec Allergy Relief Tablets + Itch Relief Stick
Certain allergy medications, including first-generation antihistamines like diphenhydramine can make you feel tired, says Stanley Schwartz, M.D., Ph.D., division chief of Allergy-Immunology-Rheumatology at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Antihistamines block the receptors for histamine in the body, and there is a receptor for histamine in the brain that keeps you alert, he explains. When certain antihistamines reach your brain, they can make you feel sleepy as a result. Thats why Dr. Monteleone says she often encourages patients to use second-generation antihistamines like cetirizine . Theyre non-sedating and tend to have less of that fatigue-causing property, she says.
Why Do Seasonal Allergies Make You Feel Sleepy
As the weather warms and pollen begins its dance across the sky, some people’s bodies hurl them into a storm of watery eyes, runny noses and sneezing fits.
But sometimes the spring and summer months also bring bouts of tiredness. Can people with allergies also blame this on seasonal allergens? The answer is yes there are several ways that seasonal allergies can make us feel low on energy.
An allergy or allergic reaction is, by definition, a fight that the body puts up when it’s faced with a foreign invader, such as pollen, said Dr. Kara Wada, an allergist and immunologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
“The body expends a lot of energy in making all of the cells, proteins and all of the other substances” that build up during an allergic response, also known as inflammation, she said.
This energy expenditure wears out the body and “some of the same chemical signals in addition to fighting off what it sees as an enemy, makes you feel unwell” and rundown, she said. This effect in seasonal allergies is like a watered-down version of the extreme tiredness that can overtake people who eat something they’re allergic to.
Allergies can also indirectly cause you to feel tired by robbing you of sleep. “It’s not uncommon to hear that people have poorer quality sleep from their allergies,” Wada told Live Science, especially “if their nose is so stuffed up they have to breathe from their mouth or post-nasal drip wakes them up in the middle of the night.”
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Figure Out Whats Causing Allergies
Allergy symptoms are a sign your body is fighting off an allergen.
So to best manage those symptoms, its important to identify what youre allergic to.
If you have allergy symptoms that only happen certain times of the year you might have allergic rhinitis .
The most common causes of allergic rhinitis include:
- Pollen, which usually causes allergies in the spring and early summer
- Mold, or tiny fungi that float in the air like pollen, which usually causes symptoms in late summer and early fall
Other forms of allergic rhinitis also stem from environmental allergens, but they may occur year-round:
- Animal dander
- Dust mites, tiny organisms found in household fibers
Other common allergy causes may be easier to identify, because theyre not circulating in the environment:
- Insects and insect stings
If you have persistent allergy symptoms and youre not sure what youre allergic to, speak with your doctor.
An allergist can diagnose you via allergy testing and recommend a treatment to help.
Congestion Can Cause Brain Fog
A stuffy, swollen nose can make it difficult to think clearly, often causing a hazy or tried feeling. Many have termed this feeling brain fog, and it results from the congestion and pressure in your nasal and sinus air passages. Without treating allergy symptoms, and sometimes contributing sinus issues, the inflammation, irritation, and runny nose at the root of this issue will keep making you feel foggy.
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Allergies Rarely Cause Sore Throats Or Body Aches
The only ache you may feel with allergies is a headache from all that congestion. Allergies can cause a sore throat if theres enough irritation from post-nasal drip and coughing, but if youre experiencing a sore throat or mild body aches, theyre more likely a sign of a bad cold.
Can allergies cause chills? No. If you have chills, its more likely you have a cold, the flu or another infection .
Sore Throat From Allergies: Symptoms And Remedies
Among the allergy symptoms that can affect day-to-day life, getting a sore throat from allergies can be especially irritating. Together with a runny nose and itchy eyes, a sore throat can cause discomfort and disruption to your routine.
Allergy symptoms of a sore throat can include a dry, scratchy feeling in your throat. It could be caused by different kinds of allergies, whether seasonal or something in your home that is affecting you.
There are various steps you can take to help manage or even reduce the symptoms.
Find out more about potential sore throat allergy remedies with our helpful guide.
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Bottom Line What Should We Do If We Have Symptoms Of Allergy Or Something That Might Be Covid
Wear a mask and maintain social distancing precautions. If you have mild symptoms, the most important thing you can do for yourself and others is to stay home until you can get tested. Then, monitor your symptoms. If you have the same symptoms every day, its probably allergies. Youll want to get in touch with a doctor via phone or telehealth if your symptoms get worse, or youre having trouble breathing.
It can be a scary to think about COVID-19, but its important to remember that many people with COVID-19 will have mild disease, though it is still contagious. If you test positive, you can read this useful guide from the CDC for advice on how to keep other members of your family safe, while you monitor your symptoms and wait to get better.