Whenever a patient arrives with traits of a watery nose, nasal congestion, and cough, it is often confusing whether the signs are triggered by a cold or by allergy since the two disorders claim the same general traits. The medical personnel must determine which of the situation in favour of that patient as the administration choices are distinct in these two disorders. Therefore it is essential to determine the discrepancies between colds and allergies. This article tends to assist in differentiating between them.
What is Cold?
The common cold, which can also be described as acute coryza, is a viral respiratory tract disease often triggered by rhinoviruses. The transmission of the ailment is often by airborne droplets. The ailment also stays for about 1 to 3 weeks. Cold is infectious. The signs stay for a few days before presentation after the viral infection. Patients often appear with a burning feeling at the back of the nose, quickly ensued by sore throat, nasal stuffiness, rhinorrhoea, and frequent sneezing. The patient may run a meagre degree of fever. In a pure viral infection, the discharge from the nose is watery but may become mucopurulent when the bacterial disease supervenes. A watery nose observed in allergic rhinitis may trigger a diagnostic disorder. However, other signs often attend to it, including skin indications, red eyes, and itchiness. The ailment is often self-restricting and determines spontaneously after 1 to 3 weeks. The patient is always advised to take bed rest, and plenty of water is highly recommended. Antihistamines, antibiotics, analgesics, and nasal decongestants are deemed supportive criteria relying on the signs. Periodically, patients may acquire difficulties such as sinusitis, pneumonia, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, and otitis media.
What are Allergies?
An allergy is described as a hypersensitive response of the immune system to respective allergens. The span for the infection may take up to days, weeks, or months. However, it is as long as the individual gets exposed to that allergen. Allergens may differ from mild hay fever to intended life ailments. Signs can start instantly after being exposed to the allergen. Regularly observed symptoms include a watery nose, red eyes, itchiness, asthma attacks, eczema, or hay fever. In most individuals, intense allergies to medications or the surrounding dietary allergen can lead to life-threatening situations like anaphylaxis. Fever is not a characteristic of allergy. Skin hypersensitivity examinations with the relevant antigen assist in developing the diagnosis. Controlling allergies involves decreasing disclosure of any recognized etiological facets, using antihistamines and steroids that change the immune system in common, and different rent supportive standards. Adrenalin is employed to manage the intense anaphylactic response. Immunotherapy is another controlling modality whereby desensitization or hyposensitization is acquired.
Difference between Cold and Allergy
- A common cold is often a result of viral respiratory tract disease, while an allergy is a kind of hypersensitivity response to a certain antigen.
- Common colds often take up to 1 to 3 weeks. However, allergy can continue from days to weeks and months and can last as long as the individual is still exposed to the allergen.
- The signs of a cold take a few days to formulate after getting in contact with the viral disease. However, allergic symptoms start instantly after exposure.
- Constitutional signs are more regular with colds than allergies.
- Fever is not a trait of allergy.
- Cold is infectious, while allergies are not.
- Cold is often a self-restricting allergy that requires treatment and support.
- Intense allergies can be a threat to life and tend to be a medical urgency.
- Wet eyes and itchiness often attended with allergy than cold.