Symptoms for two weeks? If you answered yes, you more likely have allergies. While colds might seem to linger forever, they are not as persistent as allergies.
Colds and allergies often produce similar symptoms. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), answering the following questions can help you tell the difference. For more information, visit acaai.org/allergies.
Itchy or wheezing? Itchy eyes, throat, and nose, along with sneezing, usually mean allergy. If you also have asthma, you might be more likely to have an allergy. An estimated 75 to 80 percent of asthmatics also have an allergy.
Green or clear mucus? Colored mucus probably isn't the most pleasant symptom you want to think about. Mucus that turns yellow or green if often thought to indicate an infection, but could also be seen with allergies. Clear mucus can be with either the common cold or allergies.
Do you have a bothersome tickle in your throat, itchy and watery eyes, or a repeating sneeze that has been hanging around longer than the symptoms of the common cold usually do? Your symptoms may be a sign of an adult onset allergy. Yes, allergies can show up for the first time at any age.
Allergies often first appear in childhood… but not always. Many people are not diagnosed with allergies until later in life… some much later. There are adults who may have had allergy symptoms for decades without ever being diagnosed, but plenty of people never experience any allergy symptoms whatsoever until adulthood.
In the course of our lives, we are all exposed to a variety of outside forces (or allergens) with the potential to cause an allergy. Why do some people end up with allergies while others do not? Well, in some people, the immune system sees allergens as a threat and starts emitting chemicals meant to protect the body. The release of these chemicals causes allergic reactions and symptoms.
The immune system can sometimes mistakenly overreact to anything from dust mites or mold to venom from insect bites or certain foods. And, even if you never had any allergy symptoms to any of these triggers, possible for the body to suddenly start reacting to one or more of them.
Allergy symptoms can run the full gamut from barely noticeable to quite severe. Although not common, there are instances when an allergic reaction can become life-threatening. Anaphylactic shock is an allergic reaction that can cause air passages to swell and make breathing difficult or even impossible. If anaphylactic shock is not treated immediately, there is the chance it could be fatal.
If you are experiencing allergy symptoms that are new to you, make sure to let your doctor know as soon as possible. Most likely, your symptoms will not lead to a serious health concern, but they may be needlessly affecting your quality of life by making you feel miserable and zapping your energy. A healthcare professional will be able to help determine if you are experiencing the symptoms of an allergy and the best treatment options. Your doctor may recommend allergy testing to identify the source of an allergy and help figure out the best way to deal with your symptoms. She or she may refer you to an allergy specialist.
Some allergy triggers can be avoided completely, thereby reducing or eliminating allergic symptoms. Milder allergy symptoms may be relieved with over-the-counter medications, while more severe or long-lasting symptoms may require a prescription drugs or even allergy injections.
Escalating symptoms? If your symptoms evolve you might have a summer cold. Colds evolve, usually starting with a stuffy nose, throat irritation and low grade fever. Next comes the sneezing and a runny nose, with thickening mucus.