Because symptoms are so similar, it can be difficult to tell the difference between allergies and the common cold. Fatigue, watery eyes, runny nose, sore throat and cough are all symptoms that allergies and colds share. However, achy muscles and fever are never symptoms of allergy and are a good indication that you have a cold instead. The duration of symptoms can also clue you in to what is happening in your body. Colds last 3-14 days. Symptoms persisting longer than two weeks may be allergies.
By trying to avoid substances you might be allergic to, you may be able to prevent the onset of allergy symptoms. Some common causes of allergies include pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mold and cockroaches.
To prevent catching a cold, be sure to wash your hands often and avoid people with colds if possible.
Antihistamines and decongestants can provide relief from your cold or allergy symptoms and while time is the only cure for a cold, a physician may suggest building a tolerance for allergies through immunotherapy treatments.
If you would like to learn more about how to treat a cold or allergies or to schedule an appointment with a physician at East Jefferson General Hospital, please contact HealthFinder at (504) 456-5000 or visit www.ejgh.org.