Allergies: Your Top Questions Answered
Got allergies? Then you probably have questions. Here are answers to some of the most popular.
Can Allergies Be Cured?
You can’t cure allergies, but you can treat and control the symptoms. It may take a little work. You’ll need to make a few changes to your surroundings or figure out how to stay away from things that trigger allergy attacks.
Medication will ease your symptoms, but you may still have a reaction when you’re around an allergen. Kids, on the other hand, sometimes outgrow allergies, particularly with food. You might try a type of treatment called immunotherapy. You’ll get a bit of what you’re allergic to in the form of shots, oral tablets, or drops. It isn’t a cure, but it can weaken your reaction.
How Do I Know if It’s Allergies or a Cold?
The symptoms can be similar:
Look for patterns: Both can cause sneezing, congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, fatigue, and headaches. Here’s the difference: Cold symptoms often come on one at a time: first you sneeze, then your nose runs, then you get stopped up. An allergic reaction happens all at once.
Watch the timing:
Cold symptoms go away after 7 to 10 days. A reaction will go on as long you’re exposed to the allergen. It may ease up when you get away from whatever it is you’re allergic to, but it may not.
Check your hankie: Yeah, it’s kind of gross, but the mucus tells you what you need to know. Colds may cause yellowish nasal discharge. That suggests there’s an infection to blame. Allergic reactions result in clear, thin, watery gunk.
Wait for the sneezes to start: This is more likely with an allergy, especially when you do it two or three times in a row.
Consult a calendar: Colds are more common during the winter months. Allergies strike from spring to fall, when plants are pollinating.
Take your temperature: You might have a fever with a cold, but probably not with an allergy