Allergies affect millions of people around the world (most prevalent in United States of America) every day. Common cold on the other hand affects billions of people across the world. Allergies are the body’s response to certain elements that could otherwise be absolutely harmless to some other person.
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So how to tell the difference between cold and allergies?
Though there are a lot of similarities between cold and allergies, there are some key differences that can help you decide what measures to take:-
1. Allergic symptoms begin to show up as soon as the person comes in contact with the agents that his body doesn’t seem to be familiar with. Common cold usually occurs due to constant indulgence in certain dietary and lifestyle habits such as spending most of the time in extreme climatic conditions, pollution, dust.
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2. The most common symptoms of cold are runny and stuffy nose, difficulty in swallowing, body ache and a very diagnostic symptom i.e. a rise in body temperature. Allergic symptoms also include sneezing, sore throat, runny nose but fever and body ache are not signs of allergy. Moreover, you can also look for other signs like rashes, itchy and watery eyes which are clear signs of allergies.
3. Common cold usually lasts anywhere between 5-8 days whereas allergies last as long as the allergens remain in the air. Allergies are therefore, more common during March –April and September-October. Cold, on the other hand is more common during winter and sometimes other seasons too.
4. Symptoms in case of cold are gradual and take its time to manifest or show up. Allergies are usually very sudden and the symptoms come out of nowhere or as soon as the person comes in contact with the allergens in the air. Common cold is contagious whereas allergies are not.
The most common treatment for allergies is using antihistamines and avoiding contact with the allergens which could be through food or air. Common cold has no cure in medicine but Ayurveda has a different perspective of looking at it. Allergies can be cured by improving the functioning of the immune system of the body. Undergoing treatment to strengthen the immune system of the body such that the body becomes resistant to the allergens most often results in successful treatment of allergies.
Visit your doctor today if you’re having similar symptoms.