After a very hot summer, the cooler temperatures of autumn are welcomed by many. As school begins and the days get shorter, fall ailments tend to emerge. Fall is a time when many people get symptoms of colds or allergies.
Common colds are caused by viruses. Because colds occur more commonly during the winter, many believe that changes in temperature cause colds. However, a connection has never been shown to exist between changes in air temperature and catching a cold. An allergy is caused by a person coming into contact with an allergen. An allergen is a substance that will cause an allergic reaction in a particular person. Not all individuals will respond the same way to the same allergen.
The symptoms of a cold and allergies can be similar. Both can present symptoms of itchy, watery eyes, coughing, and sneezing. However, symptoms of colds and allergies will differ in two respects: generally, a fever is common with a cold, while allergy sufferers will typically not have a fever. Also, allergy symptoms may last up to an entire season, while a cold will generally last no longer than seven to fourteen days. If cold symptoms persist, evaluation by a medical professional is recommended to determine if there is a more serious problem.
Determining the best treatment depends on whether an individual has cold symptoms or allergy symptoms. Since neither of these illnesses is bacterial, antibiotics are not an appropriate treatment. The usual treatment for a cold is to get plenty of rest and drink fluids. For allergy sufferers who would rather not wait until the seasons to change for relief, there are over-the-counter allergy medications available that may help to alleviate mild allergy symptoms. If those medications are not effective, consult your physician to see what other options are available.
Colds and allergies are common ailments that pop up during the autumn months. Knowing the specific symptoms and treatments for each will help you and your family to treat them appropriately, quickly and easily.