Is it a cold or is it an allergy??? A cold can be passed through the air from coughing and sneezing as well as touch. Most common symptoms include cough, sore throat and a runny or stuffy nose. Sneezing and itchy eyes are less common but sometimes flair up. Some severe colds can cause fevers and body aches but usually don’ last long. Recovery from a cold is usually 7-10 days and most people feel better after 3-4 days. Allergies occur when your immune system has an adverse reaction to certain substances. In the spring this can be tree, grass and certain types of flowers. An allergy is basically the body’s immune system reacting to the allergen. While the body tries to fight off the reaction, it sends out histamines which fight the substance by releasing allergy symptoms. They are similar to colds with sneezing, sore throat coughing and runny nose. The sore throat is most often caused by nasal drip. Also, allergies can cause rashes and itchy eyes but you will NOT see a fever and body aches. Some substances which trigger allergies are:
These symptoms will go away when the trigger is removed.
The common cold can be treated by the use of cough syrups, decongestant sprays, Tylenol or cold relief medicines such as Dayquil. Other things you can do at home is to drink lots of water, juice or herbal teas, gargle with salt water, or use a humidifier. Antibiotics won’t work since a cold is a virus and doesn’t respond to them. However, if the cold turns into a sinus infection, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotic. Allergy treatments such as Allegra, Zyrtec or Benadryl are usually the first line of allergy treatment. If you are taking high blood pressure medication, check with your doctor before using these. Also, preparation of the home if you know what your allergies are will help decrease to amount and severity of allergic reaction. This includes:
Call the program nurses with any questions at 978-281-0252 ext 4.