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How To Tell If A Runny Nose Is Allergies

Does Everyone With Covid Experience Similar Symptoms

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COVID-19 can cause a wide range of symptoms. Some people have mild symptoms, while others have severe illness. People who are fully vaccinated and contract COVID are less likely to experience severe symptoms. Symptoms may occur at different times during the infection, and do not always overlap. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. For some, symptoms can last longer than this period.

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.

Complications Of Allergic Rhinitis

If you have allergic rhinitis, theres a risk you could develop further problems.

A blocked or runny nose can result in difficulty sleeping, drowsiness during the daytime, irritability and problems concentrating. Allergic rhinitis can also make symptoms of asthma worse.

The inflammation associated with allergic rhinitis can also sometimes lead to other conditions, such as nasal polyps, sinusitis and middle ear infections. These are described below.

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Treating Seasonal Allergies In Children

  • Minimize symptoms at home by washing clothes after being outside, vacuuming often and using air filters and purifiers.
  • Try a non-sedating oral antihistamine, such as Zyrtec or Claritin. Your child should get relief within a day or two.
  • If the antihistamine helps, but not much, add a nasal steroid such as over-the-counter Flonase which you spray into the nose. Sometimes you need both antihistamine and nasal spray to control allergies.
  • You can also try nasal spray only. If your child gets relief, skip the oral antihistamine.

How You Can Tell The Difference Between Cold And Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

How to Tell If Your Child Has Allergies  or a Cold ...

With both allergies and colds, its typical to have congestion or a runny nose, and to sneeze often. You may also feel tired and drowsy. But there are several other symptoms that dont often overlap between allergies and a cold. Here are some of the telltale differences between cold symptoms and allergy symptoms.

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What Causes Allergic Rhinitis

You have an allergy when your body overreacts to things that dont cause problems for most people. These things are called allergens. 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.

  • 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:

You Notice A Seasonal Pattern

If youre the type of person who swears they get the same cold every March, it might be time to reconsider. If you notice its seasonal like clockwork, and every spring or fall you get these symptoms, it might be allergy-related, Dr. Parikh says.

That holds true even if your seasonal symptoms occur earlier than you might think of as allergy season, Dr. Rosenstreich says. In the Northeast, for example, most people are not aware of the fact that the trees begin to pollinate even when theres still snow on the ground. Depending on the weather, people can have allergy symptoms in February.

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When Did You Begin To Feel Unwell

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.

When To See A Gp

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Visit a GP if the symptoms of allergic rhinitis are disrupting your sleep, preventing you carrying out everyday activities, or adversely affecting your performance at work or school.

A diagnosis of allergic rhinitis will usually be based on your symptoms and any possible triggers you may have noticed.

If the cause of your condition is uncertain, you may be referred for allergy testing.

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Symptoms Of Allergic Rhinitis

Your symptoms can vary, depending on the severity of your allergies. Symptoms can include:

  • Sneezing.
  • Itching .
  • Runny nose.
  • Pressure in the nose and cheeks.
  • Ear fullness and popping.
  • Watery, red, or swollen eyes.
  • Dark circles under your eyes.
  • Trouble smelling.
  • Hives.

Allergic rhinitis can last several weeks, longer than a cold or the flu. It does not cause fever. The nasal discharge from hay fever 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.

Have You Got A Cold Or Covid Heres How To Tell The Difference

In pre-pandemic days, if you got a sniffle and a headache, you might dismiss it as an ordinary cold and carry on as normal, even if you felt a little rough around the edges. But during cold and flu season, how can you be sure its a cold and not Covid?

The bottom line is you cant. Because while the typical symptoms of a cold are a headache, sore throat and runny nose, those symptoms are now some of the main signs of Covid too.

The common cold is caused by a different strain of virus to the Covid-19, however. Most coronaviruses, such as the common cold, cause mild infection in the upper respiratory tract and produce relatively minor symptoms such as a stuffy nose, sore head and sore throat.

People who contract Covid suffer from respiratory symptoms that can cause coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and fever. The infection can also cause pneumonia, kidney failure and in the most serious cases, death.

In most people, common cold symptoms usually peak within the first two to three days of infection, while the effects of Covid appear two to 14 days after exposure.

Christina Marriott, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health says: Growing evidence shows that people whove received two doses of the vaccine typically present with less severe symptoms, such as headache, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, and loss of smell.

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Common Questions About Allergies And Colds

Symptoms can vary widely. Ask these questions to help determine if you should reach for a Claritin® product or curl up with a bowl of chicken noodle soup and rest:

How quickly did your symptoms strike?

AllergyX Allergy An exaggerated response of the immune system to a substance that is ordinarily harmless. symptoms tend to hit all at once when you come into contact with an allergenX allergen A substance that your body perceives as foreign and harmful initiates the allergic reaction.. Symptoms of a cold sometimes appear one at a time and develop over a few days.

How long have you had symptoms?

Colds typically run their course within seven to 10 days. Allergy symptoms can last weeks or months. If your cold symptoms last longer than 10 days, talk to your doctor.

Have you been around sick people?

If co-workers, friends, family or classmates have had colds recently, there is a good chance the virus has been transmitted to you. Cold viruses are easily transmitted through coughing, sneezing and touching.

Where do your symptoms appear?

What time of year is it?

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Runny Nose Sneezing And Cough Is It A Cold Or Allergies

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While patients with a cold and allergies generally have the same symptoms , they are different diseases.

Cold

A cold is caused by a virus that affects the upper respiratory tract . This leads to symptoms such as runny nose, nasal congestion, cough, sore throat, and sneezing. Patients with a cold are more likely to have general aches/pain and low-grade fever than patients with allergies. Nasal drainage is usually thick and yellow/green.

There are many different viruses that cause a common cold with the most common being rhinovirus. Symptoms usually last for 1-2 weeks. A cold is acquired when coming into contact with the virus from another person either by direct physical contact from a contaminated surface or from respiratory droplets from a sneeze or cough. Treatment includes pain relievers such as Tylenol, nasal decongestants, expectorants and cough suppressants.

Allergies

On the other hand, allergies are caused by an abnormal immune response in the body to an environmental substance. The substance can be inhaled, ingested or come into contact with the skin. The body is too hypersensitive to these substances which include such substances as pollen, dust, medications, bee sting and peanuts.

This is all mediated by a specific antibody in the body called IgE. Allergy treatment focuses on reducing this hypersensitizes by blocking certain parts of this process such as antihistamines block histamine and allergy shots decrease IgE levels.

Cold

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Could My Cold Be Rsv

It may be, although it is difficult to tell the difference between the symptoms. RSV is one of the most common causes of childhood illness, but it can also affect adults. Like the common cold, RSV cases largely disappeared during the closures, but have steadily increased since. In healthy adults and children over one year of age, symptoms tend to be mild, and infections usually go away within a week.

Most babies and toddlers who get RSV can be treated at home, just as parents would treat a common cold. The infection usually goes away within two weeks.

More severe cases require a trip to the hospital, where your child may be offered oxygen, IV fluids, and medicine to open his airways.

A Wet Hacking Cough Screams Cold

While a cough is common for both allergy flares and colds, the type of cough for each is different. A cold cough is wet and hacking, and often produces mucus or phlegm that gets progressively thicker, often taking on a green or yellow tinge.

Allergy-related coughs usually feel like you have a tickle in your throat. Thats because allergens often irritate the lining of your nose, which triggers your nasal passages to create a watery mucus. This can drip out of your nose and down the back of your throat, creating that tickling sensation.

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If Your Child Is Under Age 1 Its Likely A Cold

It is unusual for a child under 1 year old to be diagnosed with seasonal allergies. With allergies, you typically must be exposed to things a number of times to get an allergic response, explains Dr. Lee. Its not that a baby cant have an allergic reaction to something during the first year of life, but typical seasonal allergies usually involve older kids.

Is My Runny Nose From The Flu

Is It Allergies or a Cold?

A runny nose due to the flu will be accompanied with a sore throat and fever. These symptoms can overlap with COVID-19, and it can be very hard to distinguish between the two without proper testing. The flu can be distinguished from COVID-19 by these key differences:

  • Flu-like symptoms appear suddenly- you may feel very sick one morning out of nowhere
  • Signs of shortness of breath is more closely associated with COVID-19 as opposed to the flu
  • If you are experiencing a cough- determine if it is a wet cough or if it is a dry cough. COVID-19 is more closely associated with a dry cough

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Whats The Difference Between A Cold Covid

However, not every one knows the difference between allergy symptoms and those of the common cold or even Covid-19.

Dr Loh explains that as Covid-19 is a viral infection, its symptoms generally include a fever, fatigue, coughing or a loss of smell. If you experience these, do speak to your doctor for further testing.

Those suffering from inhalant allergies tend to have a runny nose or nasal congestion, as well as a bout of sneezing which normally happens as a certain time of the day and stretching for months to many years in duration . If you are allergic to dust, you may experience red, itchy, swollen or teary eyes, a runny nose, postnasal drip and even a feeling of pressure on the face or around the eyes.

Its a double whammy if you have asthma as a dust mite allergy may worsen existing symptoms like chest tightness, difficulty in breathing and wheezing.

In addition, allergies to pets may worsen existing conditions like eczema and asthma.

Is It Allergies Or A Cold

Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between allergies and the common cold. There are more than a hundred strains of cold viruses. Each tends to become widespread at certain times of the year, which is why you may mistake a cold for a seasonal allergy. Allergies occur at the same time every year and last as long as the allergen is in the air . Allergies cause itching of the nose and eyes along with other nasal symptoms. Colds last about one week and have less itching of the nose and eyes.

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Can A Runny Nose Be A Symptom Of Something Other Than Covid

A runny nose is not just a coronavirus symptom, so if you have a runny nose it could be because of a variety of other conditions like the common cold, the flu, or allergies. If you want to distinguish if your runny nose is due to COVID-19 or due to the common cold, the flu, or allergies, we have some tips for you.

It’s Probably Allergies If:

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Your mucus is clear or watery. And it will stay clear, instead of becoming thick or discolored like it can with a cold, says Michael Benninger, MD, an ear, nose, and throat specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.

Your eyes are itchy or watery. It’s rare to have itchy eyes when you have a cold.

Your symptoms stay the same. “Allergies may feel extra intense for the first day or 2, but you’ll have the same symptoms day after day,” Benninger says.

You’ve had the sniffles for more than a week. A cold usually clears up in 7 to 10 days, but allergies can last several weeks or longer.

Your symptoms show up only in certain situations. Find yourself sneezing every spring or fall? Those are common times for allergies. Another allergy tip-off: Being in a specific place makes you feel miserable — for example, in a house with a cat.

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Tips To Relieve Your Runny Nose Or Nasal Congestion

Got a case of the sniffles? Chances are that your nose is running faster than a waterfall. Or maybe your nose feels all stuffed up, forcing you to breathe out of your mouth. Or worse-both. A runny nose and nasal congestion are both uncomfortable upper respiratory symptoms with their own underlying causes. But once they start, you want relief, fast.

A runny nose is a discharge of mucus from the nostrils. Itâs the result of excess nasal mucus production. The excess nasal mucus leads to watery nasal secretions that flow out of your nostrils or drip down into your throat.

Nasal congestion is due to the inflammation of the linings of the nasal cavity. Swollen nasal passages constrict air flow, making it harder to breathe through your nose. The inflammation also makes it harder to get mucus out of your nose, so you may also have a build-up of thick, dry mucus, as well. It causes you to feel stuffed up, which is why itâs also referred to as a stuffy nose.

The common cold and the flu are often the culprits of a runny nose and/or nasal congestion,1 but they can both also be caused by allergies.

These are not the only symptom of the cold or flu. You may also experience other associated symptoms, like sneezing, coughing, chest congestion, a sore throat, headaches, and body aches.

Find out how to relieve your upper-respiratory symptoms like nasal congestion and runny nose so you can feel better fast.

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid liquids like caffeine that can cause dehydration.

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