Commonalities and differences among allergies, a cold, and the flu
Given the fact that colds, allergies, and the flu share similar symptoms, it’s important to know what these are, as well as their differences, so that you can manage the condition appropriately.4
|Cause||Allergens||Cold virus/es||Influenza virus/es|
|Duration||For as long as the allergens are present||1-2 weeks||1-2 weeks|
|Common symptoms||Runny nose and sneezing, itchy and watering eyes, , wheezing||Runny nose and sneezing, blocked nose, cough, sore throat, mild fever (occasionally)||Runny nose and sneezing, sore throat, cough, chills, body aches, high fever, extreme fatigue|
|Treatment||Limit exposure to allergens.|
Take a non-drowsy such as Loratadine.
|Rest, adequate hydration, medication to manage symptoms only if prescribed by a doctor||Rest, adequate hydration, antiviral or other medications to manage symptoms only if prescribed by a doctor|
Additionally, here are a few questions that you can ask yourself to help determine if you have a cold, the flu or allergies:4
1. How quickly did your symptoms strike?
symptoms tend to strike at one go when your body comes into contact with an . Symptoms of a cold, meanwhile, usually appear individually and develop gradually over several days. The symptoms of a flu may only appear two days after the virus has entered your body, which means that you can potentially pass on the virus to someone else before your symptoms even appear.
2. What does the color and texture of your mucus look like?
A runny nose and sneezing are common symptoms of a cold, the flu and allergies. However, the color and texture of your mucus may reveal which condition you have. If you have an allergy, your mucus will usually present as clear, thin and watery. If you have a cold or flu, however, mucus may present as a thick, yellow, or green-coloured substance. If your mucus presents as yellow or green in colour, it could indicate an infection, which requires medical attention.
3. When does a cold, allergy, or flu usually occur?
Colds are more common during the wet season, but could also occur at any time during the year. Both indoor and can happen all-year round. Flu can also occur all-year round, but tends to peak during the wet season.
While treatment for colds and flu may mean rest and hydration, manage allergies with antihistamine medications like Loratadine (Claritin®), which works in as fast as 15 minutes5, is non-drowsy vs. first-generation antihistamines and cetirizine6,7, and lasts up to 24 hours7.
IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST, CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR.
ASC Ref. Code: B249P032922CS