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08 October 2019

'Tis the season for some sneezing, but is it allergies or a cold?

You’re plagued with a sniffle and a throat tickle, but how do you know if it’s mere allergies or something more? Here’s how.

Spring is here and with it comes the highs and lows of seasonal allergies and ailments. But, how do you know if it’s allergies or something a little more serious like a cold?

Here are the tell-tale signs to keep an eye out for each and how they are similar or different, so you are prepared and treating your symptoms correctly. 

What are the tell-tale signs for allergies? 

When it comes to allergies, the tell-tale signs usually comprise of:

  • Itchy, watery eyes 
  • Flare ups on itchy dermal conditions like eczema or hives

  • Itchy nose, throat or palate – aka your sinus passages

  • Tightened airways 

What are the tell-tale signs for colds?

When it comes to colds, while you can experience some similar symptoms to allergies, some key symptoms that make it stand out include:

  • Tender, sore or irritated throat
  • Swollen glands

  • Headaches

  • Lethargy

  • Feeling chilly  

  • Body aches 

Things to look out for to help you determine which one you’re dealing with:

According to MedicalNewsToday, some ways to help you determine which are which include the following factors: 

  1. Starting time – With colds, symptoms appear gradually and more slowly – over a day or two, whereas allergies can spike as soon as you are in close proximity to the irritant. 

  1. When it ends – For colds, symptoms begin to taper off after a week or two (if untreated), while allergies will last as long as you’re still exposed to the irritant triggering it.  

  1. Time of year – It’s important to determine when your symptoms occur in the year. Seasonal allergies tend to arise around the same time each year – or during the main seasonal shifts – like spring, whereas a cold can take place at any time if you’re susceptible to the viral germs causing it.  

Treat yourself

Have you identified what you have? Ready to treat it?

Here are some useful ways to treat your allergies and your colds: 

Allergies

  • Decongestant nasal sprays or saline irrigations to flush out debris and irritants from your airways, like Sinutab 
  • Over-the-counter antihistamine medications and cough syrups, like Benylin that includes Diphenhydramine which carries antihistamine properties, can help soothe an itchy throat and post-nasal drip

  • Steaming out your airways with hot water mixed with menthol

  • Keeping your home clean and steering clear of the irritant – like flowers if you have a pollen allergy or dust etc.

  • Drinking water to soothe a scratchy throat 

Colds

  • Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water to keep flushing the toxins out of your system
  • Rest – try not to exert too much of your energy when battling a cold, as this might prolong your healing process

  • Cough medicines to helps soothe a sore throat, like Benylin 

  • Gargle saltwater to help clear debris and bacteria from your tender throat 

  • Nasal spray solutions, like Sinutab, can help with a runny nose

  • Pain killers can help soothe body aches

  • Keeping warm can also help soothe body aches and beat the cold

These are just some ways that can help you determine what’s keeping you down this season and how you can overcome it. 

*Always check with a healthcare professional before taking any medication. 


This post is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson produced by Brandstudio24 for Health24.

 
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