Is It A Cold or An Allergy?
Many parents are clueless about the difference between a cold and an allergy. Since both have very similar symptoms, it is really difficult to tell them apart. To help you with this, here are some pointers to look into to.
- Change of season. If the symptoms happen as the seasons change, it is highly possible that it is an allergy. Seasonal allergies take place at the same time each year and usually in autumn or spring. Airborne allergens like mold spores or plant pollen may cause symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and congestion. On the other hand, colds are viral and can affect anyone in any environment and during any season. But, it is more common during winter.
- Did symptoms affect your child gradually or suddenly? Cold symptoms come on gradually and go away within 1 week to 10 days. Allergy symptoms, on the other hand, come on suddenly and may affect your child for weeks or months, as long as the allergen is present.
- Fever is present. If a fever is present, it can be a cold. Colds are sometimes accompanied by a fever, but allergies aren’t.
- Your child is complaining about watery and itchy eyes. Most kids with allergies have watery and itchy eyes because of the allergen irritating the part of the eyes called conjunctiva.
- Nasal discharge. If the nasal discharge is yellowish or greenish, it could be a cold. The nasal discharge in allergy is thin and clear.
Allergies can be caused by various allergens like dust, pollen, smoke, animal dander, foods, mold, or even the soap you use. If your child has allergy symptoms, visit the doctor immediately. Take note of the things that your child has been exposed to. If your child has allergies, your doctor may help you identify the causes and at the same time recommend minimizing exposure to the culprit. An over-the-counter antihistamine may also be prescribed. On the other hand, if it is diagnosed as a cold, the doctor may give him over-the-counter cold medicines to help relieve the symptoms. Using a vaporizer or humidifier may also help, especially during nighttime. Saline nose sprays can help with the mucus build-up for both colds and allergies.