The common cold and allergies are often very similar in the way they affect the body. Without knowing the symptoms associated with both, it can be easy to mistake one for the other. In many cases, symptoms of both include a runny nose, itchy throat, and irritation in the eyes. For that reason, it can be tricky to know what treatment to implement to help reduce symptoms. Make no mistake, there is a difference in medicines and cures for both events and taking the wrong one can often have no effect on relieving the annoyances.
Treatments for the Common Cold
The primary treatment for the common cold is going to be over the counter medications. Standard cold medicine is often some sort of fever reducer or pain reliever. Fevers do not occur in allergic reactions to things like pollen or dust, so a fever is an excellent way to determine what someone is experiencing. Acetaminophen, Aspirin, and Ibuprofen are the most common forms of fever and pain reducers. They help to reduce chills, aches, and other pains that come with the common cold.
Decongestants and suppressants help to hit the things like itchy throats and a runny nose. A decongestant is very effective in reducing swelling in the trunk, making it easier to breathe. Likewise, a suppressant helps calm an irritated throat and relieve feelings of pain and itch.
Treatments for Allergies
It is easy to determine whether something is allergy related or a cold. If symptoms are lasting over a week or two, allergies are almost always the cause. Over the counter allergy treatments are the most common form of approach to handle symptoms and are most often taken in one of two ways: orally, or nasally. An oral antihistamine, like Claritin, helps reduce swelling that causes runny noses, teary eyes, and itchy throats. It helps to eliminate the airway constriction and swollen blood vessels to improve breathing and sight.
Nasal decongestants are a type of spray or liquid that go directly into the nose for immediate relief. They are often referred to as nose drops or nasal drops and can be known to be effective. Unfortunately, as the blood vessels in the nose begin to react to the nasal spray, they can become dependent on it, leading to an overuse of the treatment.
No matter if symptoms point to the common cold and allergies, the treatments are available and reasonably easy to access. Making sure to determine which cause is bringing upon these symptoms helps to choose the treatment and provide relief swiftly.