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Is Coughing Part Of Allergies

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

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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.

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.

You Can’t Smell Or Taste Your Favorite Foods And Drinks

There are dozens of symptoms that have been linked to COVID, some of which are seemingly innocuous. But one of the most telling ones is a loss of taste or smell, which is distinctly associated with COVID and not a cold, flu, or allergies. “If you have a cough with other COVID-19 symptoms like loss of taste or smell, that would increase the likelihood that you have COVID-19,” says Favini.

The easiest, most foolproof way to know if your cough is from COVID, though, is getting a COVID test. “Ultimately, because of the spectrum of illness COVID-19 can cause and the prevalence around the country, testing is really needed to determine whether your cough may be COVID-19,” says Favini. “If you’re having a cough, you should act like you have COVID-19 by isolating, wearing a mask, and getting a test.” And for the only safe zone in terms of COVID infection, check out This Is the Only Time Someone With COVID Can’t Get You Sick, Doctor Says.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Covid

If someone is exposed to the coronavirus and contracts it, Dr. Marks-Cogan said “the most common symptoms include fever, dry cough, and difficulty breathing. Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist with the Allergy and Asthma Network, specified that the fever is typically over 100.5°F, and a person may also experience loss of appetite.

Other symptoms include fatigue, body aches, and chest pain or pressure, and some have gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea and diarrhea. Loss of sense of smell has also been associated with COVID-19. These symptoms usually occur two to 14 days after exposure to the virus, and in mild cases, last for 10 to 14 days.

In more severe cases, the virus can move into the lungs, causing pneumonia. This means the lungs fill with pockets of pus or fluid, with symptoms like severe shortness of breath and painful coughs that can last two to three weeks, or six to eight weeks or longer for older adults or those with chronic diseases or other health problems.

Diagnosing A Hay Fever Cough

Causes and Symptoms of Allergy Cough »

When you have an infection, the mucus in your body starts to thicken due to the presence of a virus or bacteria. The type of mucus youre producing can help your doctor tell the difference between a hay fever cough and an infection. If you have thin mucus, as opposed to thick mucus that is difficult to cough up, allergies are usually to blame.

Your doctor will likely ask you about your symptoms as well as what makes them worse or better and when you started noticing them.

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Back Up: Why Do We Cough Anyway

Coughing is a natural response to irritation in your throat or airways. To put it simply, receptors in the throat, trachea, and lungs respond and lead to activation of the cough center in the brain, explains Clifford Bassett, M.D., founder and medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York.

Coughing is an essential defense mechanism, he says, and its your bodys way of pushing any unwanted stuff out, including pollen, mucus, and pieces of food, to make more room for air to get through.

Allergy Symptoms Vs Covid

Throughout the US, pollen has started to bloom and cause typical symptoms in those with allergies right as we have seen the spread of the coronavirus . Allergies typically cause nasal symptoms such as a runny nose and sinus congestion but do not usually result in a fever, as is found with coronavirus or the flu. While some symptoms of the coronavirus overlap with allergies, there are several differences.

Its important to note that this article is not intended to provide comprehensive medical advice. If you have concerns, please always contact your doctor and use general best practices.

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Cough Cough Sneeze Sniffle: Allergies Or Covid

If you’re an allergy sufferer, the arrival of warmer days not only signals the coming of spring, but it also means the onset of runny noses, sneezing and sniffles. If you haven’t already, you’ve probably found yourself asking, how do I know for certain if my symptoms are due to allergies or COVID-19?

“It can be a tricky question,” says Christie Barnes, MD, Nebraska Medicine otolaryngologist. “The key is to determine whether you are having additional symptoms on top of your normal allergy symptoms.”

This Q& A answers common questions you may have this fall as you manage your allergies and concerns about COVID-19.

Natural Home Cough Remedies

Allergies or COVID? How to tell the difference

If youd like to avoid taking medication, you can try the following natural remedies:

Water. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water to help thin the mucus that might be causing your cough.

Honey is a go-to remedy for soothing sore throats that can decrease the frequency and severity of coughs. You can keep it simple and swallow a spoonful of honey on its own to coat your throat, or try two teaspoons in a cup of tea or warmwater.

Gargling with salt water can help with pain and offer temporary relief. Add a quarter to a half teaspoon of salt to eight ounces of warm water and gargle over a sink.

Cough drops offer a quick and easy way to keep coughing under control by moistening your throat. Cough drops come in many flavors and can ease that scratchy feeling that sets off a dry cough.

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Cough From Allergies Vs Cough From Cold Or Flu

Dry coughs might be annoying and disruptive, but they can have a few common underlying causes mainly allergies , cold or flu. Weve put together a helpful guide to help you tell the difference between the two if youre concerned about your cough though, visit your doctor for an official diagnosis.

A Common Underlying Cause

Whether youre suffering from allergies or a cough related to infectious illness, the underlying cough reflex is the same. A cough begins when special nerve endings in your airways detect some sort of disturbance, then relay signals up to your brain that somethings going on in your respiratory system. Once your brain processes enough signals to decide that something might be wrong, it sends a chemical signal back down to initiate the cough.

That lung-brain communication stays the same, no matter what caused your cough. Allergy-related coughs might be triggered by irritation in your airways caused by an inappropriate or overly sensitive immune response to a relatively harmless particle , while cold- or flu-related inflammation is caused by a viral infection.

Allergies vs. Cold or Flu: the Timing

Allergies vs. Cold or Flu: Your Other Symptoms

If your coughing stems from a cold or flu, you might feel fatigued or achy, have a fever or feel sick to your stomach. Your cough might morph from dry into wet and mucus-filled or vice versa as you develop your cold or flu.

Getting Effective Cough Relief



Can Allergies Cause Coughing

Yes. Coughing is often a sign that you have a virus or an infection, like a cold or the flu. But it also can be caused by allergies. If you dont have an illness but have a chronic cough longer than three weeks, the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology1 states that it could be allergies.

If you notice that you cough more at certain times of the year, like during spring or fall, or when youre in a specific setting, such as a damp basement or a home with a cat or dog, allergies may be to blame.

How do allergies trigger coughing?

Allergies cause your body to make extra mucus called postnasal drip. This additional mucus trickles down your throat from your nose, often leaving you with a scratchy throat and dry cough.

You may also have other symptoms that go hand-in-hand with allergies, including:

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Dark circles under your eyes

Removing allergens like dust, pet dander, mold, pollen, and smoke from your home may help. If not, it might be time to look at other options.

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The Importance Of Severity

The symptoms of a cold are usually mild. You may find that with over the counter medication, you can go about day to day life as usual. You may choose to self-isolate, to reduce the spread of anything that you may be carrying, but your symptoms will usually be mild to moderate.

Allergy symptoms can also be mild and controlled using over the counter medication. But, they may vary in severity, depending on your location and situation. Seasonal allergies, for example, may flare up when the pollen count is high or when you spend an extended amount of time outdoors.

Asthma symptoms, however, can become much more severe without treatment. Theres no cure for asthma, but with inhalers and sometimes tablets, you can lead a healthy, active life. Without treatment, asthma can be debilitating and stop you from enjoying active pursuits.

Allergies Have Chronic Symptoms

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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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Get Your Allergies Under Control

Schedule an appointment with your doctor if youre experiencing persistent coughing that you suspect may be related to allergies. Your doctor will perform a physical examination, ask questions about your medical history and may recommend allergy testing to determine what substances are triggering your cough.

Take the medications your doctor prescribes. Your treatment plan may include an antihistamine to reduce stuffiness, a decongestant to help dry up mucus and possibly a prescription or over-the-counter cough medicine. If you have allergic asthma, take your asthma medicines as prescribed.

Follow up with your doctor if she recommends immunotherapy, commonly called allergy shots. This treatment decreases your sensitivity to allergy triggers and, over time, can reduce your symptoms, including persistent coughing.

  • Schedule an appointment with your doctor if youre experiencing persistent coughing that you suspect may be related to allergies.
  • This treatment decreases your sensitivity to allergy triggers and, over time, can reduce your symptoms, including persistent coughing.

An Introduction To Cough And Seasonal Allergies

A persistent cough can be one of the most irritating symptoms of seasonal allergies, particularly if it is persistent. These coughs are usually dry and caused by pollen irritating the back of the throat or air passages, triggering the natural body reaction of coughing to clear the irritant.

Coughs associated with seasonal allergies may also be caused by what is known as the postnasal drip. When pollen irritates the nasal passages, excessive fluid is produced by the inflamed membranes. This builds up and drops down the throat, irritating it, giving rise to a dry cough.

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Recovery After Allergic Cough

After a course of anti-allergy medicines and following the prevention tips, Priyanka noticed a massive improvement in her condition.

In a follow-up visit Priyanka said, People dont understand how irritating can persistent cough be especially, when it is triggered by factors that arent in your control

Now that I know whats causing this reaction, I can take the right preventive steps along with anti-allergy medicines. As soon as the pollen-heavy season starts, I start wearing a mask when I go out and take my anti-allergy medicines when needed.

I feel much better now and I can finally enjoy the changing seasons and not dread them.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Cold

Dog Coughing From Allergies

When youve got a mild cold, the only symptoms might be a runny nose, mild sore throat and cough, and general fatigue. If your cold is more serious, you may also have body aches, and all over pains, a fever, trouble sleeping, and your cough and sore throat may be worse.

While some of these symptoms are the same as other conditions, you wouldnt usually experience aches and pains, or a sore throat with allergies.

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Will Wearing A Mask Reduce The Spread Of Allergies As Well As Covid

In addition to reducing the transmission of respiratory droplets from individuals who may have COVID-19, wearing a mask may also help filter out some larger pollens, especially if your mask includes a small filter and you wear your mask outdoors, notes Dr. Barnes. Unfortunately, smaller pollens will still likely make their way in, even with a mask on, and will not eliminate the need to use allergy medications.

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Do Hot Showers Help Coughs

Yes, hot showers can help coughs if a cough is due to asthma or cough-variant asthma. The hot steam can help the throat relax and ease breathing. Coughs can also be due to inflammation of the throat and pharynx, and hot steam can help reduce inflammation and moisten mucous membranes and loosen phlegm from within the throat.

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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. Your throat may also feel dry or scratching. 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 .

What To Do If You Have A Cough With Seasonal Allergies

Chronic Cough Diagnosing and Treatment

If post-nasal drip results, it can lead to irritation in your throat and coughing to expel mucus. Most health-care practitioners can offer skin or blood tests to determine whether your cough is due to seasonal allergies, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Antihistamines can help clear up the mucus that leads to the cough.

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How Do I Tell If I’m Experiencing Seasonal Allergies And Don’t Need To Get Tested For Covid

If you have similar symptoms at the same time every year and your symptoms are mostly sneezing, runny nose, and itchy or watery eyes, then you are much more likely suffering from allergies, explained Dr. Marks-Cogan. If these symptoms improve with an oral antihistamine or asthma medication, then they’re more likely due to seasonal allergies.

“Some people with severe nasal allergies can sometimes experience a decreased sense of smell. However, this usually occurs after long-standing nasal congestion is present or is due to nasal polyps which can be seen in people with seasonal allergies,” Dr. Marks-Cogan said. Someone who suddenly develops a loss of sense of smell that isn’t associated with chronic nasal congestion should speak to their physician.

People with asthma may develop shortness of breath or cough when they’re having an asthma flare, so Dr. Marks-Cogan recommended contacting your allergist or primary care physician to help determine if you need to increase your asthma medications, or if you need to be tested for the coronavirus. If you’re concerned about the severity of your symptoms, and are also experiencing a fever or a dry cough, Dr. Marks-Cogan recommended speaking with your physician just to be safe.


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