The symptoms of a cold and allergies are very similar – runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, sore throat and stuffy head. As the seasons change, so does your body. It’s common for people to catch a cold each time the season changes, which can make it difficult to know if they’re experiencing seasonal allergies or just a common cold. A naturopathic family care provider can offer natural allergy testing and treatment.
Another way to tell if your symptoms are related to a cold or allergies is to look for telltale signs, such as a fever. This is normally associated with the flu and cold. People are typically confused because allergies are sometimes called hay fever, but this isn’t actually a fever. How long you notice the symptoms also provides a clue to the cause.
If you have a cold, the symptoms will normally last no longer than two weeks. Allergies, on the other hand, last a whole lot longer. Some people witness allergy symptoms an entire season or throughout the entire year. This is especially the case for those battling indoor allergens like mold and dust mites.
Determining if You Have Allergies
Aside from going to a naturopathic family care center to receive testing, there are other ways to know if your symptoms are due to a cold or allergies. For example, if you notice that your symptoms tend to get worse during a certain time of day or during particular activities, then it could be allergies. Anyone allergic to dust mites may wake up with congestion. Those who notice symptoms while taking a morning walk may notice signs due to pollen in the air.
A child having sneezing and coughing symptoms during the dead of winter and after being around friends who are ill, likely has a cold. Age can also help with determining where symptoms derive from. Outdoor allergies normally come about between four and six years old. Indoor allergies normally begin around 3 years old.
Other signs a child may have allergies is if he or she has eczema. It’s very common for eczema and allergies to coexist. Those who witness both are also more likely to develop asthma. A child is at a higher risk of developing allergies if both parents have it.
Mucus is another area you can check to see if you have allergies or just another cold. If you notice your mucus is clear and water-like, then it’s more likely allergies. Thicker green-tinted mucus is an indication of a virus.
Symptoms you want to watch out for include chest tightness, wheezing and shortness of breath, as this can be a sign of asthma or allergic asthma.
Food-Induced Asthma Symptoms
Allergies like pollen and dander can contribute to asthma flareups. It’s also known that food allergies can cause the same thing. This isn’t as common as airborne allergens, but is still important to know about. It first starts out as regular food allergy symptoms, like nausea and vomiting, hives, rash or diarrhea, then followed by asthmatic symptoms like wheezing and coughing. It’s also possible for the throat to swell, making it harder to breathe – this is also known as anaphylaxis.
There are a number of ingredients found in junk food that can increase risk of allergies and asthma during childhood. Food preservatives are one culprit that can cause asthma attacks. One in particular is sulfites, which can be found inside of shrimp, wine and dried fruits.
Sometimes, the best way to avoid allergies is to change the way you eat. You can learn more about natural treatment for allergy symptoms by consulting with a naturopathic family care physician.