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Dr. Rowe's Allergy and Asthma Blog

Is it a Cold or an Allergy?

Runny and stuffy nose, sneezing, and fatigue.  A common cold or symptoms of allergies?

The similar symptoms can make it hard to discern the difference between the two maladies.  The germs from colds are contagious viruses.  Allergies cannot be passed to others except through heredity.   Colds usually do not occur in regular patterns and typically last three to fourteen days, but allergies either wax and wane year round or demonstrate a predictable, seasonal pattern.

Colds are more likely to be associated with a sore throat for the first few days, a cough, and mildly discolored nasal mucous.  Although not common, colds are sometimes associated with aches and fever.

Allergies usually produce clear nasal mucous, are not usually accompanied by a fever or aches, and often occur with itchy, red, watery eyes.

To prevent cold symptoms, try to keep your distance from the offending infectious virus.  Wash your hands often, avoid close contact with others that may be harboring a cold, and maintain good general health.

Allergies need to be identified through allergy testing so that you can modify your exposure to these culprits. 

There are no cures for either allergies or the common cold, but you can make the symptoms milder.  Decongestants and antihistamines can help make both difficulties more tolerable, but are usually more effective for allergies.

Colds are best treated through extra rest and drinking plenty of fluids.  Prescription nasal sprays and allergy shots can be very effective in reducing allergy symptoms. 

Although symptoms from colds and allergies are not usually serious, they may be associated with complications including sinus and ear infections and exacerbations of asthma.

When troubled by these symptoms, see us for relief and feel better soon! 

Same Day Appointments are Available.

Pollen Counts

Trees
(none)
Weeds
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Grass
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Molds
(high)
Ragweed
(low)

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