Is It a Cold or an Allergy? - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Is It a Cold or an Allergy?

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People who suffer from itching eyes and a runny nose often think they have the common cold. But, sometimes those sniffles may not be contagious at all. With allergies and colds sharing so many symptoms, how do you know which one is plaguing you?

Have you ever had sneezing, sniffling and a sore throat and wondered whether you're suffering from an extended cold or an allergy? Well, you're probably not alone.

"The truth is they probably don't know what they have. The majority of people tend to say that I have allergies. Everybody just says, 'Oh my allergies this, oh my allergies that.' When in fact, they may not even be allergic," says Dr. Michael Reder of Trinity Health Allergy and Immunology.

The difference between colds and allergies is in cause. Reder says that allergies tend to last longer; perhaps an entire season, whereas a cold could only last for a couple of weeks.

Most people associate allergies with spring weather and buds on the trees. But, as you can see, we don't have that weather right now. And, people could be surprised to hear that allergies affect you all throughout the year.

Tree pollens, weeds, mold and even pet dandruff can play role on your immune system. But, before you decide to get rid of your household pet, look for certain patterns when your symptoms pop up.

"If you see that trend where you gradually get worse for several days and then you level down and then you start gradually improving, it's probably viral. You tend to have more patterns with an allergy. Allergy tends to be associated with more itchiness; whether it's your eyes, your nose, your throat, your ears or skin. Those are just general tendencies," says Reder.

However, two thirds of the population doesn't even have an allergen. So, before you start self diagnosing yourself, leave it to the professionals.

The best way to find out if you're suffering from allergies is to take an allergy test.

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