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How To Tell An Allergy From A Cold

Can I Prevent Myself From Getting Allergy Symptoms

What is the difference between an allergy and a cold?

In terms of preventing allergic reactions, the first step is to find out what youre allergic to. Doctors who specialize in allergy and immunology can help patients discover what might be causing their specific allergies with skin, patch, and blood tests. For example, sometimes its difficult to know if your allergy trigger is pollen, pets, mold spores, or a combination of different triggers. Once you have an understanding of your allergy trigger, its best to avoid contact with them as much as possible. Depending on the category of allergy that you have, you may want to try the following:

Perform Some Hot Pack

Well, hot pack helps soothe chest congestion and gives immense relief from the hoarse throat. Prepare a hot pack using roasted cloves, cardamom, and fenugreek. The mixture should be warm. Put the mixture in a thin cloth and keep it on your chest and throat for 5-6 mins. Do this process while going to bed at night to get rid of a cough fast.

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Treating The Common Cold

Your body will get rid of the cold virus over time. Since only kill bacteria, they wont work on the viruses that cause colds. Still, there are medications that can help relieve your symptoms while a cold runs its course.

Cold remedies include:

  • pain relievers, such as or

Cough syrups and OTC medications arent recommended for children under 4 years old, while nasal sprays arent recommended for children under age 6.

Ask your doctor before taking any OTC cold medication, especially if you also take prescription medications, have any existing health conditions, or are pregnant.

Dont use cold medications for a long period of time. Using them for extended periods can cause side effects such as rebound congestion.

You can also try home treatments to relieve a cold, such as:

  • drinking more fluids like water, juice, and herbal tea
  • loratadine-pseudoephedrine

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Are Your Symptoms Consistent With The Flu

In the US, the flu season is coming to an end, whereas COVID-19 numbers continue to rise. So, flulike symptoms should prompt concern for COVID-19.

Key symptoms:Flu is characterized by fever, chills, muscle aches, and exhaustion. It classically comes on suddenly, as opposed to the more gradual onset of the common cold. More mild symptoms can also occur, similar to the common cold, such as a runny nose, sore throat, and headache. Vomiting and diarrhea are uncommon in adults, but can happen in children.

How can I be certain I have the flu? Flu is diagnosed based on a swab test performed by a healthcare provider. Prescription medications can limit the duration of influenza symptoms, but need to be started promptly. The flu vaccine is also an important part of prevention. The duration of symptoms is approximately one week, with symptom improvement occurring around five days.

How Can I Tell The Difference Between Covid

How to Tell Whether You Have a Cold or Allergies

With the easing of restrictions we still need to be diligent in our efforts to reduce the spread of COVID. ;Having said this, we are well into summer allergies and colds. ;Its good to know and understand the differences.

There are some symptoms that are similar between these respiratory illnesses. This chart can help you figure out if you may be feeling symptoms of allergies or a respiratory illness like COVID-19. If you have a fever and a cough, please call 811 or your doctor.;

Sample Content. Double-click here to edit.

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Massage The Pain Away

A regular massage may seem like a luxury, but when a migraine strikes, it can be the best way to relive all thats built up in your head.

Learn how to give yourself a calming and pain relieving massage, and you can prevent your migraines from growing worse, quickly. As you stretch and massage both the neck and the base of the scalp, you will stimulate blood flow and relaxation, sending the pain away from your head.

Check out Theory & Practice of Therapeutic Massage for more on how to relieve the pain of headaches and migraines through massage.

Know Your Paths To Care

Were here to help you get better quickly, with tools and information for self-care and convenient options for visits or advice when you need it. Easy ways to get help for your cold or allergy symptoms include:

  • Consulting Nurse Service: Call a nurse, who will assess your symptoms and recommend treatments or other next steps. Available 24/7.
  • Online visit: Complete a questionnaire about your symptoms. A clinician will provide a diagnosis, treatment plan and, if needed, a prescription without a trip to your doctors office.
  • CareClinic by Kaiser Permanente at Bartell Drugs:Walk in for care at 15 Puget Sound Bartell Drugs locations. Open 7 days a week with evening and weekend hours.

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Use Caution With Medications

If you find that side effects from meds are too much to bear, you may be overusing them. First-generation antihistamines may make you drowsy because histamines are neurotransmitters that act on the brain to keep you awake. Dr. Ward recognizes that some patients overuse these medications, which can backfire. Be sure to follow the label directions.

When Did You Begin To Feel Unwell

How can you tell a cold from allergies?

If you remember being around someone who had an upper respiratory infection a few days before you started feeling ill, you may have caught a viral infection. Viruses are spread by contact with sneezes, coughs, and contaminated surfaces such as door handles. Allergies, on the other hand, can begin immediately after coming in contact with triggers such as pollen. If you think you might be experiencing a seasonal allergy, check the pollen count in your area; if levels are high, allergies may be the culprit.

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How To Treat Cold Sore Pain

DIY remedies arent likely to make a cold sore disappear anyfaster. But there are things you can do to ease the pain while youre waitingimpatiently for it to heal.

  • Numb the pain: Over-the-counter pain reliever creams such as lidocaine and benzocaine can numb the burning and ease the discomfort. These are often marketed for dental pain, so look for them in the dental section of the drug store.
  • Moisturize: Keep your lip and mouth area moisturized to prevent the sore from drying out and peeling, Dr. Beers says. But if you use lip balm on an active sore, consider it contaminated. Once youve used it on a cold sore, you should throw it away after the sore is better, Dr. Beers says.
  • Cool it: Using a simple cold compress, like ice or a cold, wet rag, can help reduce pain and redness.
  • Hands off: It can take all your self-control not to play with a cold sore, but try to resist the temptation. Its instinct to pick at it and scrape the peeling skin, but you should let it heal itself, Dr. Beers says.
  • Meanwhile, you dont want to inflict these sores on others. Skip the make-out sessions until youve healed and wash your hands often.

    While cold sores are annoying in adults, the virus can be life-threatening in a baby, so take care to steer clear, Dr. Beers advises: As much as you might want to see your niece or nephew or grandbaby, please dont shower them with kisses if you have an active cold sore.

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    Does My Child Have Allergies

    Children get allergies when certain substances enter their body, and their immune system produces antibodies and histamine to ward off the threat. This creates an inflammatory response that leads to sneezing, sniffling, itchy eyes, and other allergy symptoms.

    Depending on the cause, your kid’s allergies can be seasonal or year-round. “Seasonal allergies are often due to an increase in pollen counts of certain plants in your area,” says Dr. Jain. Allergy triggers vary by season, but they include weeds, grasses, trees and some molds. On the other hand, “year-round allergies can often be attributed to indoor allergens such as cat and dog dander, dust mites, mold, and cockroaches,” says Dr. Jain.

    Symptoms of allergies include:

    • Runny nose with clear, thin mucus
    • Nasal and sinus congestion
    • Coughing
    • Itchy, watery, or red eyes
    • Sinus pressure
    • Allergic shiners

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    How To Reduce Facial Swelling After Sleep

    Waking up to a puffy face or lips is quite common for many people.

    This can be the result of too much salt in your diet the night before, too much alcohol, dehydration, allergies, mold, dust, pollen, hormone changes, the way your face sleeps on the pillow, and good ole stress can increase inflammation which causes swelling, explains Nesheiwat.

    To reduce morning facial swelling, consider trying one of Nesheiwats tips:

    • Upon waking, wash your face with cool water to reduce swelling.
    • Avoid salty foods and processed foods before you go to bed .
    • Dont sleep with your makeup on because inflammation of the skin contributes to the facial swelling you see in the morning.
    • Stay hydrated. Make sure youre drinking plenty of water all day long.
    • Avoid excess alcohol.
    • Dont sleep on your belly.
    • Use cold cucumbers on the areas that are swollen. Cucumbers contain antioxidants, which help to soothe puffy eyes.

    Is It Allergies Or A Cold Heres How To Tell The Difference

    Is it Allergies or a Cold?

    Allergies and colds can present with similar symptoms in kids, ranging from runny nose and sneezing to cough and sore throat. We spoke with an expert to learn the key differences that could help you make a diagnosis.

    Sneezing, coughing, postnasal drip Its not always easy to tell the difference between seasonal allergies and colds. There is quite a bit of overlap in symptoms, says Sanjeev Jain, M.D., a board-certified allergist and immunologist at Columbia Allergy. But learning to tell them apart is key for diagnosis and treatment, which can help your child feel better faster. Here, we break down the causes of allergies and colds in children, with tips for differentiating the symptoms.

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    Exposure To Certain Substances Can Worsen Allergy Symptoms

    Allergy symptoms typically get worse with more frequent exposure to the allergen, and they improve when exposure is reduced. For example, say a child has a dust mite allergy. Theyll likely experience sneezing and nasal congestion while inside their home, but the symptoms will improve after spending time in the backyard, says Dr. Jain. Because of this, allergy symptoms can be intermittent and may vary throughout the day and week.;

    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.

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    What Should I Do To Protect Myself And Loved Ones

    In the midst of flu season, doctors recommend getting a flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine, if you haven’t already. And, don’t let up on what you’ve learned during the pandemic: Wash your hands frequently, don’t touch your face with your hands, social distance, and wear;a mask indoors,;even if you are vaccinated, if you are in areas with high rates of transmission,;if you or a family member has a weakened immune system, or if it just makes you feel more comfortable.

    According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at;increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated.

    More:;Stay home, even if you don’t know if it’s COVID-19

    People who are at increased risk for severe disease include older adults and those who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart conditions, or if;they are overweight or obese.

    The CDC also recommends that people with compromised immune systems should wear a mask, social distance, avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.

    Free Press staff writer Kristen Jordan Shamus contributed to this article.

    Watch Out For Common Triggers

    Wellness 101 Show – Coronavirus, Allergies or Cold & Flu – How to Tell the Difference?

    The season youre in largely dictates what might be causing an attack. For instance, in the late spring and early summer, grass pollen is highest. In late summer and early fall, theres weed pollen to worry about, notes the AAAAI. Mold can peak between July and October. Still, these allergens can be present year-round depending on where you live, making it difficult to understand what youre reacting to.

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    How To Treat Allergies And A Cold

    Allergies are caused by your bodys immune system responding to a commonplace trigger, like pollen or cat dander. To fight off the trigger, your immune system releases chemicals called histamines that cause an allergic reaction.

    To treat allergies, youll need to either avoid the trigger altogether or take medications, like antihistamines, to counteract your immune systems response. Antihistamines help by blocking the effect of histamines, hence the term antihistamine. This, in turn, helps relieve your symptoms.

    Some people need to stay on antihistamines long term if they have year-round allergies, Arthur adds.

    A cold is caused by a virus. Theres no cure that can treat the virus, but there are medications that can relieve your symptoms. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help alleviate pain and reduce your fever, while decongestants will reduce congestion. Get rest and drink a lot of fluids.

    Other Steps You Can Take

    Theres not much you can do to protect yourself from allergies when you are outside, but you should strive to make your home as allergy-free as possible. Combining a variety of different allergen-reducing techniques can make you more comfortable.

    These techniques include:

    • Cut down on pet dander. Consider a hypoallergenic dog or give your dog or cat weekly baths to reduce dander accumulation. If your pet has long hair, consider getting them shaved. Keep your dog or cat out of your bedroom.
    • Eradicate dust mites. Keep your home clean and uncluttered, get rid of wall-to-wall carpeting, and put protective covers on furniture cushions to keep your home free of dust mites.
    • Vacuum. Vacuuming twice per week with a vacuum containing a HEPA filter reduces airborne allergens.
    • Dehumidify. Mold thrives in moist, warm environments. Air out your bathroom after showers or run a dehumidifier to suck moisture from the air.
    • Get rid of houseplants. House plants make a great home for dust mites and mold spores. Reduce your number of house plants and get rid of dried flowers.
    • Control cockroaches. Cockroaches are common in urban areas and in the southern United States. Set traps and avoid leaving out food.

    Its not always possible to prevent allergy symptoms. Often, you can only treat symptoms as they arise. There are many prescription and over-the-counter options available, including:

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    Treating Common Colds In Children

    • Use saline solution in the nose to loosen congestion and help children blow their noses. Or, suck out the congestion with a bulb syringe.
    • Try certain home remedies to help relieve your child’s symptoms. For children over age 1 year, a spoonful of honey by mouth may help soothe a sore throat.
    • Use acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as prescribed by your doctor, to treat aches, pain and fever.
    • For children over age 2 years, you can use mentholated ointments;on top of the chest to soothe and calm coughs, especially nighttime coughs.
    • For children over age 6 years, you can use a topical decongestant;such as nasal spray;to help relieve nasal congestion. If used, use at night for no more than 3 days in a row.
    • Learn when to consult your physician if your young baby has common cold symptoms.

    Keep in mind that oral cough and cold medications are not recommended for children under the age of 6 years. “Typically, I try to avoid oral cough and cold medications for children of any age,” says Dr. Lee. “They are not effective and can have potential side effects, such as elevated blood pressure.”

    If your child’s cold and allergy symptoms last more than two weeks, consult your doctor.;If you are concerned your childs symptoms are COVID-19, you should also contact your childs pediatrician. Learn more about allergies vs. COVID-19.

    Are Your Symptoms Consistent With Allergies

    Allergies or Cold? How to Tell the Difference and Get Relief

    Spring, with its budding trees and warmer weather, means allergy season for many of us. As you see the trees in your area budding, that means the pollen counts will also be increasing.

    Key symptoms: Two strong indicators that suggest allergies: if youve had springtime allergies before, and if itch is a prominent component of your symptoms. People with allergies often have itchy eyes, itchy nose, and sneezing, as well as less-specific allergy symptoms such as a runny, congested nose, and a sore throat or cough that is generally due to postnasal drip.

    How can I be certain I have allergies? The best way to diagnose allergies is by using skin testing at an allergists office. If you found taking medications such as over-the-counter antihistamines or steroid nasal sprays helpful in prior years, then it would be reassuring that if your symptoms improve with these medications, your symptoms may be due to seasonal allergies. As anyone with allergies can attest, allergies linger for months, so the timeline can often be a clue, too.

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