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Is it a cold or an allergy? How to tell the two apart. 

The excitement of springtime usually brings with it beautiful flowers, warmer weather, and lots of activities to do outside! However, it may also bring something a little less welcome: sniffles, sneezes, and running noses. So, how do you tell if these are an allergy or illness like the common cold? 

Although they share some of the same symptoms, colds and seasonal allergies are very different diseases.

Common colds are caused by viruses. Seasonal allergies, however, are immune system responses triggered by exposure to allergens, such as seasonal tree or grass pollens.

Both colds and allergies can cause a cough, sore throat, sneezing, and overall feeling of tiredness. However, only a cold should present with a fever and aches/pains. 

You can treat a common cold with rest, pain relievers and cold remedies, such as saline and suction. A cold often lasts 5-7 days in adults, although some may last as long as two or three weeks.

You can treat seasonal allergies with antihistamines or nasal steroid sprays. Avoid exposure to allergens where possible. Seasonal allergies may last several weeks.

If your child is feeling unwell for longer than normal, or their condition worsens, it is always a good idea to bring them in for a sick visit to rule out any other illnesses. 

For questions, to book an appointment, or any other concerns, Augusta Pediatrics can be reached at (706) 868-0389. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only.


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