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Is it an allergy or is it a cold?
The days are getting longer and temperatures more tolerable, but just around the corner looms allergy season. However, seasonal allergies and colds share some common symptoms, so it may be hard to tell the two apart.
Both conditions usually involve sneezing, a runny nose and congestion. Additionally, colds often include coughing and a sore throat, but these symptoms can also occur in those who suffer from springtime allergies who have post-nasal drip.
Young children get lots of colds and parents may not always think of seasonal allergies as the reason for their child’s constantly drippy nose. Allergies can first show up in a child at around ages 4 to 6, but can begin at any age. Plus, genetics play a role: people with one parent who has any type of allergy have a 1 in 3 chance of developing an allergy. When both parents have allergies, their children have a 7 in 10 chance of developing allergies, too.
Here are a few signs to look for to determine whether symptoms are due to seasonal allergies or a cold:
- Colds sometimes produce a fever, but allergies never do.
- Allergies can cause itchy, watery eyes, symptoms that won’t typically accompany a cold.
- Cold symptoms rarely last more than two weeks, but allergies can last as long as you are exposed to the substance triggering the reaction.
- Cold symptoms that appear at the same time every year and last for an extended period of time may very well be allergies.
If you’re still unsure whether your condition or your child’s is a cold or allergy, an easy step is a convenient virtual care visit at www.virtualcaremi.com. One of our physicians can walk you through the symptoms to determine if you need a trip to your primary care physician, an allergist, a prescription or just rest and fluids.