Am I suffering from common cold or allergies?

Fact Checked

When an individual experiences the sniffles, many assume that it is transmittable. Nevertheless, those who have the sniffles are often triggered by something that is not contagious. Those who are suffering from runny nose, congestion, coughing and sneezing, cold is initially considered but it might be the response of the body in fighting off the airborne particles. It is important that you know the difference between common cold and an allergy.

What is common cold?

Common cold is caused by a virus that is spread via the air when an individual who harbors the virus sneezes or coughs. The virus can also be passed on by touching an object that has been touched by an infected individual or via hand-to-hand contact. If an individual touches any opening in the face after contact, he/she will acquire the virus.

The recovery period from common cold is usually fast, thus if the symptoms persist for more than a week or two, the individual must seek medical care since the virus might have progressed into a serious condition.

Common cold

The potential allergens depend on the sensitivity of the individual but the release of histamine can produce symptoms similar to common cold such as runny nose, congestion, coughing and sneezing.

What are allergies?

When an individual is highly sensitive to certain substances, the immune system generates chemicals known as histamine to fight off these substances. The potential allergens depend on the sensitivity of the individual but the release of histamine can produce symptoms similar to common cold such as runny nose, congestion, coughing and sneezing.

As time passes by, the individual can differentiate an allergy from common cold based on various factors. Take note that some of these factors include the time of the year as well as the characteristic symptoms of allergies. If you want to ease the symptoms of an allergic reaction, all you have to do is to register for first aid training today.

Difference between an allergy and common cold

The allergies can last to varying degrees all year where some wake up every morning with a certain form of itchiness or congestion. For those who suffer from allergies, the symptoms are more intense during certain times of the year. During the spring season, certain airborne pollen can cause severe symptoms in some highly sensitive individuals.

If an individual is coughing or sneezing due to allergies, others could not acquire it. The allergies typically cause itchiness including itchy eyes and scratchy throat due to postnasal drip. This can lead to sore throat and coughing that can cause an allergic individual to mistake the symptoms as common cold.

When it comes to common cold, the symptoms occur quickly but also subside in no time unlike with allergies. Common cold is often accompanied by body aches that are not experienced by those who have allergies and oftentimes fever which is a symptom that does not affect allergic individuals. On the other hand, those who have allergies suffer from itchiness that is not a symptom of cold.

A sinus infection can be triggered by either common cold or allergy since both causes the buildup of mucus in the sinus cavities. This form of infection can cause severe allergy and cold-like symptoms and if not treated, can persist for weeks or even months.

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At St Mark James Training we work hard to ensure accurate and useful information on our blog website. However, the information that we post on our website is purely for educational purposes and should not be used as diagnosis or treatment. If you need medical advise please contact a medical professional

  • All stmarkjamestraining.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.