Sometimes our state of health leads us into a dead end. If the nose is flowing, the eyes are red, you want to constantly sneeze, you don’t immediately understand that it is an allergy or ARVI? How to understand what exactly happens in the body, because these diseases are treated differently? Further in the article we will try to find out in more detail how to distinguish allergies from colds in an adult or a child.
The role of immunity in allergic reactions
In our country, it has long been accepted in allergic sufferers to suspect weak immunity and try in every possible way to strengthen it with immunostimulating drugs, vitamins, etc. But the fact is that these very actions help her symptoms to be even more pronounced. Therefore, in order to understand how to distinguish allergies from colds, you first need to figure out how immunity works in the first case and why it declares war on harmless substances.
Allergy is a strong immune response to an irritant. That is, poplar fluff, ambrosia pollen, fruits or vegetables are perceived by the body as a danger and are taken to fight them.
As it turns out, this is a common predilection for excessive personal cleanliness and sterility in the premises, especially in the room of a small child. And this, it turns out, can play a cruel joke in the future – immunity, which is genetically programmed to live in a cave and contact with three billion microorganisms, turns out to be deprived of work and therefore simply “throws” on everything that even slightly resembles an “enemy”.
Allergies are formed this way. For many, it acquires a seasonal character — that is, at a certain time of the year (by the way, it is not at all necessary at the time of flowering) a person receives a set of symptoms that are similar to signs of a cold.
And sometimes it is quite difficult to understand how to distinguish allergies from colds, since their symptoms are very similar: sneezing, redness and swelling of the mucous membranes, runny nose, sore throat.
But the main difference is still there: with allergies, the temperature does not rise, and the mucus secreted from the nose remains clear. The general condition at the same time is weakly disturbed, and the appetite, as a rule, does not suffer.
In addition, allergies are often observed drops in the patient’s condition. That is, depending on the presence or absence of contact with the allergen, his condition may suddenly change – he, for example, can sneeze and blow his nose severely while on the street, and after going into the house, after a while it seems completely healthy. Viruses, of course, do not behave this way: they attack with enviable consistency.
What is characteristic of a cold
What is commonly called colds is the result of a viral or bacterial infection. It usually occurs on the background of hypothermia or reduced immunity due to already existing chronic diseases and other factors.
By the way, how to distinguish the common cold from allergies is usually not very difficult to understand. After all, ARVI is accompanied by very specific symptoms, which are not with allergies:
- feeling of aching muscles
- general malaise, headache,
- sore throat,
- temperature rise,
- the patient’s appetite is broken,
- nasal discharge is greenish or yellowish.
By the way, a cold person doesn’t sneeze too often, while an allergic person may give off whole bouts of sneezing.
The course of acute respiratory viral infections is usually less than 10 days (two weeks with complications), and allergic rhinitis may be disturbed for a month or more, depending on the contact with the allergen and the timeliness of taking the correctly chosen drugs.
How to distinguish allergies from colds in a child
So, our passion for cleanliness and the desire to protect the child from germs, as mentioned above, led to the fact that modern children are very often allergic. Their “starved” immunity perceives any microorganism as an enemy and declares war on it. By the way, it is proved that fair-skinned and fair-haired children have a greater tendency to allergies compared to their dark-haired peers.
Of course, mothers are experiencing, trying to figure out how to distinguish allergies from colds in infants. After all, he can not describe his state of health, and the unreasonable use of antiviral drugs may aggravate the allergic reaction that has caused the runny nose and cough. Well, you have to watch him.
With an allergy in a baby, as a rule, reddened eyes, they turn sour, the eyelids become swollen, in addition, there is a noticeable strong tearing. With a cold like this usually does not happen. Often these symptoms are accompanied by rashes on the skin – and all this means that you should urgently contact an allergist to prevent the pathological state from developing into a serious problem.
A few words about the dangers of an allergic reaction
Many, even learning how to distinguish allergies from colds, try not to pay attention to it. But this is a serious mistake! Untreated allergic rhinitis in more than 40% of cases develops into bronchial asthma. Not to mention the risk of angioedema or anaphylactic shock.
If you have seasonal allergies, you should visit the doctor one month before the start of the dangerous period for you and you should start taking the prescribed drugs at least 3 weeks before the first manifestations of the pathology.
As a rule, a specialist prescribes not only common drugs, but also local antihistamines, so-called cramons, which help significantly reduce allergic manifestations.
Once again on how to distinguish allergies from colds
What is the difference between allergies and colds, you probably already understood. And yet again list the main differences:
- allergy is characterized by itching (in the eyes – with allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis, or on the skin – with urticaria);
- nasal discharge looks different;
- Increased temperature is characteristic only for SARS (although it may in some cases accompany urticaria and allergic dermatosis);
- sore throat, aches, weakness, headache – these are symptoms of a viral infection.
So, before you begin treatment, be sure to understand the true nature of your illness. True, in some cases, allergies and colds can be related. How?
Communication of cold and allergies
Everyone knows that viruses, affecting mucous membranes and spreading in the body, can cause an immune response in the form of an allergic reaction. But, it turns out, and allergies, if not treated properly, can lead to the development of somatic pathologies – sinusitis or bronchitis.
For example, in case of allergic rhinitis, edema is formed on the mucous membrane of the nose, due to which part of the mucus has no escape and accumulates in the maxillary sinuses. And here a favorable environment for the development of bacteria, which cause antritis, is already formed. Therefore, in advanced cases, even doctors can not immediately answer how to distinguish allergies from colds.
But if you do not allow it and in time ask for help, then it will be much easier to understand the situation, and the use of designated means will greatly facilitate your life and keep you healthy. Do not be ill!