- Shortness of breath
- Extreme fatigue
- Cough (particularly night time coughing)
- Chest tightness
- Use a maintenance medication to reduce inflammation in your lungs
- Take a course of oral or IV medication for severe flare-ups
- Track your symptoms and daily peak flow
- Follow an asthma action plan when symptoms start (share this with family members, teachers, and the school nurse as needed)
- Laughing or crying
- Extended exercise
- Cold air
- Strong smells
- Animal dander, pollen, or dust mites
- Swelling of the tongue, lips, and throat
- Rash outbreak
- Shortness of breath
- Tightening of the throat
- Abdominal distress
- Use epinephrine as prescribed by your allergist. This often means using it at the first sign of a severe reaction.
- The next step is to call 911. Tell them that you have had a severe reaction and injected yourself with epinephrine.
- Either go in the ambulance or get a ride to the emergency room. This is important even if your symptoms start to subside. You may need further treatment or evaluation to make sure everything is under control.
Your alarm goes off in the morning and you get up to start your day. Yet right away, something doesn’t feel right. Your nose is runny, your sinuses congested, and your eyes are itchy and red. Time to ask yourself: Is this a cold or allergies? For many patients, this distinction isn’t clear. That’s why it’s important to schedule an appointment with your local allergist. These are trained medical professionals dedicated to knowing the difference. Learn more about how to tell if you have a cold or a simple case of allergies.
Allergies vs. a Cold
These are two fundamentally different conditions even though they create the same result. Contracting a virus causes your body to have a cold. Allergies are the immune system's response to an allergen like pollen or dander. Your body identifies this substance as a threat and kickstarts a response. There is a wide range of allergens and everyone reacts differently to them.
- Pay attention to the color of your mucus. It seems gross, but it’s important. Allergies cause your snot to be clear and runny. Yellow or green mucus indicates an infection or cold.
- Red or itchy eyes aren’t a cold symptom. This is a key identifying factor between a cold and allergies.
- When you have a cold, you eventually start to feel better. Allergies create the same symptoms at the same threshold every day. You won’t get better or worse.
- How long have you been feeling sick? A cold clears up within two weeks. On the other hand, allergies can last for a whole season if left untreated.
- Spring and fall are the worst times for allergies. If you find yourself sneezing more in certain times of the year or situations, consider the possibility of allergies.
- A low-grade fever, headache, body pains, and a cough are not signs of allergies. Every cold creates different symptoms, so pay attention to how you’re feeling.
- As mentioned before, when your body is fighting a cold or infection, your mucus changes color. Your immune cells transform your snot into a thick, green, yellow substance.
- Are your symptoms changing every few days? When you're sick, your condition will change. You may have a stuffy nose one day and a sore throat the next. This change is caused by both the virus progressing and your immune system responding to it.
What Should I Do Now?
If you suspect that you have allergies, contact your local allergist right away. Easy and advanced testing identifies what you’re allergic to. From there, your allergist works with you to find an appropriate treatment. If you have a fever over 101 F or symptoms that don’t improve after ten days, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your body might need something stronger to fight off the infection.
- Western Red Cedar
- Sweet Vernal
- Red Top
- Invest in over-the-counter treatments. These include oral antihistamines, nasal sprays, nasal decongestants, and eye drops. This helps reduce or minimize the aggravating results of allergies.
- Start spring cleaning before the season kicks into full swing. Deep clean everything in your home, from floors and rugs to light fixtures. This gets rid of any dust or pollen that has made its way indoors.
- Track pollen levels by using weather apps or other sources. Avoid spending too much time outside on high pollen days. You should also avoid the time when pollen is at its peak, which is early evening and midmorning.
- Though it’s hard when the weather is nice, we recommend keeping your windows closed during the spring. Opening them allows for allergens to get in.
- Pay attention to the humidity levels in your home. These conditions are a perfect breeding ground for mold. Investigate common areas like under the sink for any signs of it. Mold is a severe allergen trigger. Invest in a dehumidifier to keep the levels in your house under control.
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