Quick Quiz: Is It Cold or Allergies?
Published Aug 23, 2021
If you have a runny nose and congestion or you sneeze and cough continuously, your initial thought maybe that you have caught a cold. Nevertheless, they are also symptoms of allergies.
By understanding the distinctions between allergies and colds, you can quickly locate the appropriate means of relief. Here is a quick cold or allergies quiz that may help you know what you really have.
A cold often referred to as “the common cold,” is caused by a virus. Colds are caused by a variety of different viruses. While the symptoms and intensity of colds vary, they all share some basic characteristics.
The following are some of the most distinguishing characteristics of the common cold:
- Colds are spread via virus droplets shed by an infected person when they cough or sneeze.
- Cold symptoms may include sneezing and coughing, as well as a sore throat and a runny, stuffy nose.
- More severe colds can also result in fevers, headaches, and body aches.
- Colds typically resolve quickly. It lasts between 7-10 days.
- If symptoms persist longer than a week or two, the virus may have developed a more severe infection, such as pneumonia, sinusitis, or bronchitis.
- Allergy sufferers may be more susceptible to colds.
Despite its name, a “cold” can strike at any time of year, even in the summer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average healthy adult will catch two or three colds every year.
Furthermore, due to their immature immune systems, young children may catch more colds.
Allergies develop when your immune system reacts abnormally to specific substances. When you are exposed to an allergen, your immune system produces chemicals called histamines. Allergy symptoms are caused by this histamine release.
Allergies and colds share some common symptoms, including the following:
- sore throat
- nasal congestion
- runny nose
- watery eyes
Additionally, allergies can result in rashes and itchy eyes. Usually, the common cold does not.
Each year, more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. While seasonal allergens such as grass, tree, and weed pollen are frequently cited as triggers, you may be allergic to specific substances all year.
Additional allergy triggers may include the following:
- dust mites
- animal dander or saliva — from a cat or dog
- Foods — tree nuts, peanuts, milk, and eggs
Quick Cold or Allergies Quiz
Since colds and allergies have many of the same symptoms, it may be difficult to tell the two apart. One distinct way to determine what’s wrong with you is to pay attention to the signs they don’t share.
Colds are more likely to result in the following:
- aches and pains
- sore throat
Allergies are more likely to result in the following:
- itchy eyes
skin rashes — eczema or hives
Colds and Allergies Diagnosis
You do not need to see your doctor for a cold, but if you do, your symptoms will almost certainly be sufficient to confirm your diagnosis.
If your doctor suspects that you have a bacterial infection such as strep throat or pneumonia, additional tests such as a throat culture or chest X-ray may be necessary.
You may need to consult a primary care physician, an ear-nose-throat (ENT) physician, or an allergist for allergies. Your doctor will begin by inquiring about your symptoms. Severe or life-threatening allergic reactions frequently necessitate the attention of an allergy specialist.
Allergy diagnosis can be accomplished by a variety of tests. A skin test can be done to discover the allergens that cause your allergies. Depending on your age and other health issues, your primary doctor or allergy specialist may also order blood tests to diagnose allergies.
While some allergy and cold symptoms are the same, these are two completely different health conditions. Knowing which one you have with this cold or allergies quiz, you may receive the appropriate treatment, putting you on the road to recovery swiftly.
If your symptoms persist or develop a rash or a fever, consult your doctor to rule out a serious medical condition. Remember, colds and allergies can result in the accumulation of viruses and bacteria in the sinuses and lower airways, resulting in more severe illnesses.
Consult your doctor if your symptoms persist for more than 10 days or if they are getting worse.