Allergies and Cold | What to Know and How to Treat Them
Fecha de creación: 12/14/2015
By Nicholas Dodaro, M.D., ABEM, FACEP
Runny nose, stuffy head, chills, watery eyes – no matter the symptoms, allergies and colds are no fun to deal with. Here’s how you can tell the difference between them, and what tips to protect yourself by preventing them in the first place.
Allergies occur when a certain foreign substance, such as pollen, a bee sting or pet dander, affects your immune system. Your body produces antibodies to protect itself from various items that could make you ill or cause an infection. When a person has allergies, their immune system makes antibodies that classify a certain allergen as harmful. The body’s reaction to this can be in the form of sinuses (such as watery eyes, sneezing, itchy or runny nose) to inflaming your airways or digestive system.
Some allergies vary from person to person and range from minor to life threatening. While many allergies cannot be cured, there are various treatments such as medicine, shots, or immunotherapy that are preventive treatments for allergic reactions to substances such as grass, pollens and bee venom.
A common cold is unlike the flu and can be caused by many different types of viruses. Unfortunately, colds are one of those ailments where you have to let it run its course.
It’s usually spread by:
- Airborne respiratory droplets such as a cough or sneeze
- Saliva, so sharing drinks can put you at risk
- Skin-to-skin contact like a handshake
- Touching a surface that has been contaminated
The condition is usually harmless and symptoms usually resolve within a couple of weeks. Symptoms for the common cold can include:
- A runny nose
Over-the-counter products and home remedies such as hot tea with lemon and honey can help symptoms. However, if you or your child develops a high fever or severe symptoms, please visit your physician or an urgent care facility like GuideWell Emergency Doctors.
How You Can Protect Yourself from the Common Cold
While the common cold can appear at any time, there are certain precautionary measures you can take:
- Eat, Sleep and Exercise: Make sure you do your best to get the proper amount of sleep. Good sleep, like eating proper meals and getting the right amount of exercise, all help keep your immune system strong, which can help protect you.
- Wipe It Down: Whether it’s the cold and flu season or not, wiping down gym or office equipment can help, too. When you’re at a public place such as a gym or grocery store, it’s important to wash your hands after your visit. Keeping wet wipes in your car, bag or purse so they’re available at all times can also help.
If you’re not sure whether you have allergies, or if you feel your cold may be getting severe by developing a fever, then please visit your medical provider. If you’re in the Orlando area, come visit GuideWell Emergency Doctors. We are an urgent care facility that offers a high-quality, cost-effective care alternative to meet your unscheduled medical needs. No need to make an appointment – just walk on in!