Cold / flu / allergies

General or Other | - Others | Cold / flu / allergies (Disease)


Colds, allergies and the flu can all have very similar symptoms such as a runny nose, cough, sore throat and some congestion.

The similarities between symptoms of the flu/cold and nasal allergies, also called allergic rhinitis, indoor or outdoor allergies, seasonal allergies or hayffever, can cause confusion. Worse, it can cause you to make the wrong diagnosis and treat with the wrong medications. The onset and duration are key to diagnosing the flu virus.

Described symptoms of flu are: headache is mild to intense; muscle aches and pains are moderate to intense; fever can range from 102 to 104 degrees F for 3-4 days; fatigue is moderate to severe and can continue for several weeks; sore throat can be severe and cough dry, hacking, can be severe.

In a cold symptoms are: fever sometimes with slight elevation; mild headache; mild muscle aches; stuffy nose; nasal discharge can be clear to green; often sneezing; sore throat is mild to moderate and cough is mild to moderate.

Not in least, allergies symptoms include: mild to moderate headache; stuffy nose; nasal discharge is usually clear but can be yellow or green; sneezing is often and usually itching or tickling in the nose; sore throat caused from post nasal drip; cough causes often and from a tickle in the throat; and irritated eyes, feeling itchy and watery.

Causes and Risk factors

Colds are caused by many different viruses. When one of these viruses gets into a persons body, the immune system attacks it. Some of the effects of this immune response are the classic symptoms of a cold, such as congestion and coughing.

Allergies are caused by an overactive immune system. For some reason, your body mistakes harmless substances - such as dust or pollen - for germs and attacks them. Your body releases chemicals such as histamine, just as it does when fighting a cold. This can cause swelling in your nasal passages, a runny nose, coughing, and sneezing. Allergies are not contagious, although some people may inherit a tendency to develop them.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment for colds, flu and allergies may include antihistamines , which block the effects of histamine and decongestants, which reduce swelling in the mucus membranes of the nasal passages. Different types of analgesics are also used to treat pain and fever.


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