Living in Louisiana can come with its fair share of respiratory challenges. In this warm, humid climate, our state tends to have a more prolonged allergy season than some other regions. Add to that the fact that symptoms of allergies and colds can be similar, and it can be challenging to determine what’s ailing you. Lourdes Urgent Care understands that it can be frustrating to have persistent symptoms without any clear answers. That’s why, when it comes to allergies vs. cold in Louisiana, it helps to know what to look out for. Learn more about the similarities and differences, what may be causing your symptoms, and why seeking medical attention can be best.
What Causes Allergies and Colds?
First, it’s important to understand what allergies are and why they happen. Generally, allergies are a heightened sensitivity of the immune system to a specific substance. This substance is called an allergen, and it can be anything from pollen, mold spores, dust mites, or pet hair.
Once the immune system mistakes an allergen for a harmful invader, it produces antibodies in response. This antibody reaction triggers the release of histamines, which are compounds that cause swelling and inflammation of the tissues. The release of these histamines is what leads to uncomfortable allergy symptoms.
Conversely, colds are viral infections that usually last a week or two, with symptoms that can include a sore throat, cough, runny nose, low-grade fever, fatigue, and body aches. While seasonal allergy symptoms can be slow to develop, the onset of a cold is often abrupt, with symptoms developing over a day or two.
Allergies vs. Cold Symptoms: Similarities and Differences
When it comes to allergies vs. colds, both share a number of similarities. For example, both can make you feel congested. They can also produce similar respiratory symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose. However, allergy symptoms often include itchy, watery eyes, while cold symptoms do not.
Allergies are primarily caused by the immune system’s response to external triggers, while colds are caused by a viral infection. Allergic reactions can include hives, which are not commonly associated with colds. There are also differences in symptom duration. Unlike colds which typically last between one to two weeks, allergies may persist for weeks or months at a time.
Knowing the differences between these two conditions is essential in getting the correct treatment and finding relief quickly. As allergies and colds share some symptoms, it can be tricky to determine which one you’re experiencing. For this reason, it can be best to have your condition diagnosed by a trained medical professional. Once the root cause is determined, they can then recommend treatments to help you feel better again.
Still Unsure If You’re Experiencing Allergies or Cold?
Differentiating between allergies vs. a cold can be difficult given their similarities in symptoms. With help from Lourdes Urgent Care, you can take steps to get the help you need to alleviate your symptoms. If you’re experiencing cold or allergy symptoms and want relief, check-in or call the Lourdes Urgent Care nearest you. Get fast and affordable care close to home.