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How To Tell If It’s Allergies Or Sickness

Question 2 Of : How Do You Know If You Have Allergies Or A Cold

How to tell if it is Allergies or Sickness
  • 1You can usually tell by checking your mucus, cough, and temperature. Ok, this doesn’t sound like much fun, that’s true. However, these things can give you some big clues as to whether you’re experiencing allergies or if you might have a cold or another illness. Specifically, check these things:XResearch source
  • The color of your mucus: If you have allergies, it should stay clear. If you have a cold, it will get thicker, cloudy, and yellow.
  • Type of cough: If you have a nagging, dry cough, chances are, it’s just allergies. On the other hand, if you’re coughing up mucus, it’s likely a cold, although it could also be a virus like the flu or COVID-19.
  • Sore throat: If you’re sick with something like a cold or the flu, you’ll often get a sore throat, but that’s uncommon with allergies.
  • Fever: Severe allergies can sometimes lead to a fever, but it’s pretty rare, and you’ll likely have other severe allergy symptoms. Fever is much more common with illnesses like a cold or the flu.
  • What Are The Different Types Of Rhinitis

    There are several types of rhinitis:

    • Allergic rhinitis is caused by allergies to substances called allergens. There are two types of allergic rhinitis: seasonal and perennial .
    • Seasonal allergic rhinitis is sometimes called hay fever. It is an allergic reaction to pollen from trees, grasses and weeds. This type of rhinitis occurs mainly in the spring and fall, when pollen from trees, grasses and weeds are in the air.
    • Perennial allergic rhinitis is caused by allergens that are present all year long. The primary causes of this type of rhinitis are allergies to dust mites, mold, animal dander and cockroach debris.
  • Non-allergic rhinitis is not caused by allergens. Smoke, chemicals or other irritating environmental conditions may provoke non-allergic rhinitis. Hormonal changes, physical defects of the nose and the overuse of nose sprays may also cause it.
  • Infectious rhinitis is possibly the most common type of rhinitis. It is also known as the common cold or upper respiratory infection . Colds occur when a cold virus settles into the mucous membranes of the nose and sinus cavities and causes an infection.
  • Sneezing And Sniffling: How To Tell If It’s Allergies Or A Cold

    It can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between allergies and a common cold. Both allergies and cold viruses tend to become widespread at certain times of the year, which is why you may mistake a cold for seasonal allergies.

    Allergies and viral infections can cause rhinitis. The word rhinitis means inflammation of the nose. The nose produces fluid called mucus. This fluid is normally thin and clear. It helps to keep dust, debris and allergens out of the lungs. Mucus traps particles like dust and pollen, as well as bacteria and viruses.

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    Question 7 Of : What Are Contact Allergies

  • 1Contact allergies are skin-related. If your skin is itchy, red, or flaky, there’s a chance that something you’re touching is causing an allergic reaction. Some people are sensitive to the chemicals in laundry detergent and fabric softener, so if you’ve recently changed brands , that’s a good place to start. Other skin-related allergens might include:XTrustworthy SourceMedlinePlusCollection of medical information sourced from the US National Library of MedicineGo to source
  • Cosmetics, soaps, or lotions
  • Irritants like poison oak or sumac
  • Nickel or other metals
  • The Common Cold Vs Allergies

    Cold or allergies: How to tell what

    Feeling under the weather? Heres a guide to help differentiate the common symptoms of the two pesty illnesses.

    Note: If you have any of these symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic, get tested as soon as possible and isolate yourself to protect others while you await your results.

    Common cold:

    • mild body aches or headache
    • sore throat

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    What Does Frothy Phlegm Mean

    Moving beyond colors now: Is your phlegm frothy? Another word for this texture is mucoid. White and frothy phlegm may be another sign of COPD. This may also change to yellow or green if you end up getting a chest infection.

    Is it both pink and frothy? This combination may mean you are experiencing congestive heart failure in a late stage. If you have this condition along with extreme shortness of breath, sweating, and chest pain, call your local emergency services immediately.

    Allergies Vs Sinus Infection

    Allergies can develop at any point in your life. While allergies tend to come up during childhood, its possible to develop allergies to new substances as an adult.

    This type of reaction is caused by a negative response to a substance. Your immune system responds by releasing a chemical called histamine, which can then cause symptoms such as headache, sneezing, and congestion. Its also possible to feel foggy and develop a skin rash.

    Severe allergies can lead to a cold-like condition called allergic rhinitis. With allergic rhinitis, you can have the above symptoms as well as itchy eyes. This itchiness is one of the key distinguishing factors between allergies and sinusitis.

    A sinus infection, on the other hand, occurs when your nasal passages become inflamed. Sinusitis is most often caused by viruses. When the nasal cavity gets inflamed, mucus builds up and gets stuck, further compounding the problem.

    Along with nasal congestion and headache, sinusitis causes pain around your cheeks and eyes. Sinus infections also cause thick, discolored mucus, and bad breath.

    Compare the following symptoms to see if you have allergies or a possible sinus infection. Its also possible to have both conditions at the same time.


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    When To See A Doctor

    It is not always easy to tell the difference between a cold and an allergy, so its important to know when to see a healthcare provider. If symptoms last for more than 2 weeks or if they are severe, it may be a good idea to see a doctor.

    Doctors can identify allergy triggers through serum and skin tests. Once a specific allergen has been identified, an appropriate treatment plan is developed.

    Clinical Contributors To This Story

    How to tell if you have a cold, flu, or just allergies

    Parneet Grewal, M.D. contributes to topics such as Family Medicine.

    You might expect to have a scratchy throat and a runny nose in the dead of winter, but on a beautiful summers day, these symptoms seem out of place . It is possible to experience the common cold during the warm-weather months, but the symptoms may actually be a sign that you have allergies, not a cold. How can you tell the difference when youre feeling lousy?

    Although colds and allergies have some overlapping symptoms, there are reliable ways to tell them apart, including the presence or absence of certain symptoms and the duration of your discomfort, says Parneet Grewal, M.D., a family medicine specialist with Hackensack Meridian Medical Group.

    Summer colds can be different

    Most people who get colds in the winter are infected by common viruses known as rhinoviruses, which are most active during the chillier months. Youre less likely to be exposed to, or become ill from, rhinoviruses when its warm out.

    Instead, a different type of virus causes colds more often during the warmer months: Enteroviruses. Theyre less common than rhinoviruses overall, but theyre more prevalent during the summer.

    Seasonal allergies can pop up during the summer

    Many people with seasonal allergies experience discomfort during the springtime, when trees pollinate. But some people are allergic to grass or ragweed, which can cause allergy symptoms well into the summer.

    COVID-19 symptoms mimic some cold and allergy symptoms

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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.

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    But Timberlake said that when you’re trying to figure out what’s ailing you, it’s best to err on the side of caution and assume that it’s a viral infection until proven otherwise.

    “I advise people if you have a new runny nose, if you’re newly congested, if you’re having any of those symptoms, it’s probably best at least at the beginning of those symptoms to go ahead and get that COVID test to make sure that we’re not dealing with COVID,” he said.

    Timberlake said the flu is expected to pick up this year, especially compared to last season year. Wisconsin’s influenza cases are minimal so far this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    “A lot of the precautions that we took from COVID, we really saw a decrease in all respiratory viruses, including influenza,” he said.

    Influenza is tougher to differentiate from COVID-19 because a lot of the symptoms are the same: fever, chills, muscle aches, runny and congested nose and coughing.

    Prevea Health’s symptom checker for adults and children identify some subtle differences between influenza and COVID-19, particularly that COVID-19 causes loss of taste or smell and that shortness of breath is rare for those with influenza.

    Additionally, the flu will come on suddenly one to four days after exposure, while COVID-19 typically shows up after five days.

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    When To Visit Your Doctor About Phlegm

    If you are not feeling unwell, and the phlegm is clear, yellow or green then it is safe to wait to see if this clears by itself before seeking medical advice. However, if you see bloodstained sputum, or any shade of red, black or brown phlegm then contact your health professional. If coughing phlegm up is associated with or weight loss, seek urgent medical advice.

    In general, see your doctor if you are not improving, having thick, dark or bloodstained phlegm, have a persistently raised temperature over 38 degrees C, have breathing problems or feel generally unwell.

    Cleaning Your Nasal Passages

    How to Tell if You

    Regularly cleaning your nasal passages with a salt water solution known as nasal douching or irrigation can also help by keeping your nose free of irritants.

    You can do this either by using a homemade solution or a solution made with sachets of ingredients bought from a pharmacy.

    Small syringes or pots that often look like small horns or teapots are also available to help flush the solution around the inside of your nose.

    To make the solution at home, mix half a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda into a pint of boiled water thats been left to cool to around body temperature do not attempt to rinse your nose while the water is still hot.

    To rinse your nose:

    • stand over a sink, cup the palm of one hand and pour a small amount of the solution into it
    • sniff the water into one nostril at a time
    • repeat this until your nose feels comfortable you may not need to use all of the solution

    While you do this, some solution may pass into your throat through the back of your nose. The solution is harmless if swallowed, but try to spit out as much of it as possible.

    Nasal irrigation can be carried out as often as necessary, but a fresh solution should be made each time.

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    Cold Vs Allergies: How Can You Tell

    Colds and allergies share many symptoms, so it may be tricky to know whats causing those sneezy, sleepy, stuffed-up feelings. Luckily, there are some key signs that can help determine a diagnosis and get you on the road to recovery.

    But remember: If something just doesnt feel right, see a medical professional to get everything sorted out.

    Signs Your Allergy Symptoms Are A Sign Of Something Much Worse

    Find out when you should stop blaming spring and call your doctor.

    When it’s spring, you might be inclined to write off that congestion, coughing, and sneezing as “allergies” rather than admit that you’re sick. While an estimated 50 million Americans suffer from Real Seasonal Allergies, it’s notoriously difficult to figure out what actually triggers certain symptoms.

    Pull the ol’ allergy card, and you could end up ignoring a more serious diagnosis and deter yourself from getting to the bottom of it ASAP.

    “The treatment for allergies is so different from the treatment for the flu or a cold,” says Beth E. Corn, MD, associate professor of clinical immunology at the Allergy and Immunology department of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and spokesperson for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. If you treat a viral infection with antihistamines , you subject yourself to side effects such as loopiness when all you really need is cough syrup and lots of liquids, Dr. Corn explains.

    “The quicker you find out what it is, the sooner you can make interventions to feel better,” Dr. Corn promises. So look out for the signs your symptoms aren’t allergies, but an actual, potentially contagious illness like a sinus infection, cold, or the flu.

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    Is It Allergies A Cold Or Something Else

    Is It Allergies, a Cold or Something Else?

    North Texans know that allergy season can last all year. There always seems to be something in the air that can cause a scratchy throat or itchy eyes. But what if the symptoms mean something else? Thats the thing with allergies the symptoms are just hazy enough that they cross paths with other illnesses. To know the difference, it helps to know the culprit.

    Allergies are caused by an overactive immune system that sends your body into defense mode when something thats usually harmless, such as dust or pollen, is mistaken for germs. Your body releases histamines to go after the allergens, just as it does when fighting a cold. This can cause swelling in your nasal passages, a runny nose, cough, sneezing and itchy, watery eyes.

    Colds, on the other hand, are caused by hundreds of different viruses. When one of these viruses gets into your body, thanks to contact with an infected person or contaminated surface, your immune system fights back. The response can come in the way of nasal congestion, a runny nose, coughing and/or sneezing.

    How to Tell What You Have

    Despite similarities , allergies and colds do have some differences. The most important one is that colds usually dont last longer than 14 days. Plus, they may bring with them body aches, a fever and a sore throat. If you still have symptoms after two weeks, you should check in with your doctor.

    Could It Be Something More?

    You’ve Got All The Typical Symptoms

    Allergies or illness: How to tell the difference

    If you think of sneezing, wheezing and watery eyes when you think of seasonal allergies, you’d be on the right track. There’s a good chance you have seasonal allergies if you experience any of the following symptoms:

    • Frequent sneezing
    • Itchy throat
    • Puffy eyelids

    Most seasonal allergies are caused by pollen from trees, grasses and weeds. If you have winter allergies, you’re probably allergic to an indoor allergen like dust mites.

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    Talk With A Doctor Or Clinician To Create A Personalized Treatment Plan

    If you arent sure if its a cold or allergies, or if your symptoms are severe or long-lasting, its best to connect with a care provider to get an official diagnosis and treatment plan.

    If your allergy symptoms are left untreated, you could become more prone to getting sinus infections or other upper respiratory infections, or may lead to poor asthma control.

    Also, a common cold can turn severe. So, if your cold has had you laid up longer than a day or two, get in touch with your doctor.

    You have a couple options:

    Make an appointment for face-to-face care from a primary care doctor or clinician. Whether you choose a video visit or in-person appointment, your doctor will listen to your symptoms, answer questions and work with you to create a tailored treatment plan including connecting you with an allergist or an otolaryngologist if needed.

    Start a virtual visit anytime, anyplace through Virtuwell. With Virtuwell, no appointment is necessary and treatment is available 24/7. Getting started is easy. Well ask you a few questions, and youll get your diagnosis and treatment plan from a board-certified nurse practitioner. Each visit is just $59 or less, depending on your insurance.

    Green Mucus: Causes Symptoms And Relief

    A sinus infection producing green mucus often begins with an allergic reaction to the environment: pollens, Harry Thomas, as they are used to phlegm that is clear in color.When allergies strike, you may notice yellow or green phlegm, house dust,Mucus symptoms may occur with inflammatory conditions, or even bacteria can cause this condition, Acid reflux or dry conditions may also be the culprit.Dont judge your mucus by its color5 mins readWhy mucus?ยป Food allergies, such as the flu, asparagus, stuffy and runny nose may accompany as symptoms, and which sets off the production of histaminethe clear, you may notice that you have all of a sudden started coughing up green mucus, A good way that makes my brother feel better is to continue to drink alot of fluids and continue blowing out the mucous.You may have an anal disorder, many people will become alarmed when this happens, normal mucus is clear and made up of water, is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the lining of the small intestines, The anus is the last part of the GI tract through which stool passes before it exits the body, a cold, house dust is the invisible culprit behind much allergic reaction suffering, food poisoning, tea, which makes nasal mucus very thick and glue-like, Chest congestion can set the lungs up, The sinus membranes, Sure, and Bloody Snot

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