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Spring Sniffles: Allergies or Illness

Spring Sniffles: Allergies or Illness

Spotting the Source of Your Spring Sniffles

Pollen, mold, and bug bites are common culprits for causing spring sniffles — but so are common respiratory illnesses. Read on to learn more about how you can spot the difference and nip your spring sniffles in the bud.

The Cold

The common cold, also just referred to as the cold, is a respiratory illness that can be brought on by several different viruses, although rhinoviruses are the most prevalent. This sickness typically lasts from 7 to 10 days, with most people recovering without complications.

 

Symptoms typically associated with the common cold include:

  • Body aches
  • Coughing
  • Headaches
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
 

On average, adults will get about 2 to 3 colds each year, being the most common during the winter and spring months.

The Flu

The flu, or influenza, is a respiratory illness that is brought on by influenza viruses. When you get sick with the flu, it can infect several different parts of your respiratory tract, which include:

  • The nose
  • The throat
  • The lungs
 

Symptoms of the flu can range in severity, but typically include the following:

  • Body aches
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever or feeling feverish
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
 

Although it’s possible to get sick with the flu during any time of year, the flu is the most commonly contracted during the winter months.

COVID-19

COVID-19, or Coronavirus disease 2019, is different from the coronaviruses that cause more common and mild illnesses like the common cold. This coronavirus is one that has not been previously identified, with more research needing to be done to thoroughly understand it.

 

Some of the most commonly reported signs and symptoms of COvid-19 include but are not limited to:

  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Coughing
  • Congestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat

Environmental Allergies

Environmental allergy symptoms are often confused with cold and flu symptoms as they each tend to affect the respiratory system, however, they are not caused by the same things. While the cold and flu are viral infections, allergies are due to your immune system overreacting to substances in your environment.

 

Common signs and symptoms of environmental allergies include:

  • Itchiness
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Coughing and/or wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Asthma attacks
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Itchy/irritated eyes

Asthma

Asthma is a condition that causes the airways to narrow, swell, and produce extra mucus. This leads to breathing difficulties and may trigger a variety of symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Though it can not be cured, symptoms can be controlled and monitored throughout your lifetime.

Types of Asthma

  • Exercise-induced asthma: exposure to cold and dry air can lead to asthma symptoms.
  • Occupational asthma: occurs when irritants in workplaces such as fumes and gases cause respiratory issues.
  • Allergy-induced asthma: is triggered by mold, pollen, and other common allergens.

What Are The Symptoms?

Depending on the person, symptoms can vary. However, the most common signs include:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Chest pain and tightness.
  • Coughing or wheezing at night or in the early morning.
 

Asthma can change over time, making it essential to track and monitor changes with your doctors. Signs that asthma may be worsening often include:

  • Frequent and bothersome symptoms.
  • Breathing increasingly becomes more difficult.
  • An inhaler is needed more often than before.

CCH is open, safe and ready to see you.

With almost 80 physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners in nearly 20 specialties, CCH is committed to your wellbeing right here at home. If you have been putting off a visit to your doctor for a regular checkup, contact them; they can help weigh your personal healthcare risk and avoid further delayed diagnoses.


Visit www.cchwyo.org/findadoc to find your provider or clinic.