Do You Have Allergies or a Cold?

Do You Have Allergies or a Cold

Colds and allergies actually produce a lot of similar symptoms. Because of this, it can be difficult to distinguish what you are really dealing with. Some of the symptoms that are typically present with both common colds and allergies are fatigue, a runny nose, and even a sore throat in many instances. However, they have a very different causation. Colds occur when your body is exposed to a virus of some sort. Whereas, allergies present themselves typically on an annual basis and are triggered by being exposed to common allergens. Below, we will discuss some of the differences in symptoms and how the impact on the body differs when you have one or the other.

woman sneezing in a tissueAllergies vs Cold:

Different Ways To Tell The Difference

While a lot of the symptoms that you will experience with both might be similar, there are key differences that you should look out for. One of the main things that can help you distinguish if it’s allergies are if the symptoms are consistent and persistent. If you are suffering from allergies, your symptoms are not going to gradually get better over time like they would with a cold. Therefore, if you have noticed the same symptoms for multiple days, you are likely experiencing allergies.

Another effective way to tell the two apart from one another would be the color and the consistency of your mucus. If you notice that your mucus is completely clear and runny, it is very likely allergies. Whereas, if your mucus is thick and has a yellow or green color to it, you are most certainly dealing with a cold. Your mucus can tell you a lot about your health. When it changes colors like that, you are typically dealing with some sort of infection.

Another good way to tell if you are experiencing allergies is if you are experiencing itchy or watery eyes. It is very unusual to experience redness or persistent itching with your eyes when you are dealing with a cold. Another good way to potentially identify that you are dealing with allergies is if you notice a pattern of your symptoms showing up. For instance, if you notice your symptoms begin to flare up at the same time every year due to the change of seasons or even if your symptoms show up when the pollen count is high outside.

Impact On The Body

As mentioned previously, allergies are going to be much more persistent and consistent. Whereas, a cold might gradually get better over a period of time. Typically, you will notice that a cold can impact your health anywhere from 7 to 10 days. Whereas, allergies are likely to stick around for much longer due to exposure to allergens. If you notice that your body is physically hurting and that you have aches and pains that didn’t exist prior to experiencing cold symptoms, it is very likely that you are experiencing a virus of some sort. You are generally not going to experience any aches or pains when dealing with allergies.

Natural Remedies For Each

While the symptoms are relatively similar, the natural remedies that you will find for each can differ considerably. For allergies, some of the best natural remedies will deal with flushing your nasal cavities out with a nasal solution and dealing with the irritation and inflammation that you are generally experiencing with the symptoms present. Whereas, when you have a cold, you are primarily going to want to try things that can effectively boost your immune system and provide better overall immune system support. That being said, there is one particular natural remedy that suits both very well. That would be aromatherapy due to the various benefits that can be derived from different essential oils.

mountain diffuser on rockHow Aromatherapy Can Help:

Aromatherapy can be a very effective treatment for both colds and allergies because there are so many different essential oils that can help reduce the common symptoms. By diffusing essential oils that are well known to reduce inflammation like lavender, you will be able to prevent the inflammation that results when you are exposed to common allergens.1 Along with this, an essential oil like eucalyptus is another that features anti-inflammatory properties, but it also offers a cooling sensation when inhaled through the nostrils which can help to provide cooling relief for those suffering from both allergies and cold. Typically, you will be able to feel a good sense of relief when you breathe in something with a cooling effect like this oil. One study looked at the effects of sandalwood, ravensara, and frankincense oil on perennial allergic rhinitis and it found that it was effective at treating symptoms of it.2 Lastly, both tea tree oil and peppermint oil have anti-inflammatory properties which can help to contribute to a reduction in symptoms present for both allergy sufferers and those with a common cold. MONQ’s Mountain blend has peppermint in it to counter your worst allergy symptoms!

While there are plenty of commonalities in terms of the symptoms that are typically present when you have either a cold or allergies, there are specific ways to identify which one you really have. By understanding what you have, you should be able to better attack the root cause and the symptoms. You should look to see a doctor if you are unable to identify whether you have allergies or a virus of some sort.

Photo credits: TirachardKumtanom/, DimaBerlin/

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By Krista Burton

Krista is an aromatherapy enthusiast who enjoys writing and researching about all the new aromatherapy trends. When she’s not busy writing and researching you can find her dreaming about being on the beach.

Favorite MONQ blend: Ocean

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The above information relates to studies of specific individual essential oil ingredients, some of which are used in the essential oil blends for various MONQ diffusers. Please note, however, that while individual ingredients may have been shown to exhibit certain independent effects when used alone, the specific blends of ingredients contained in MONQ diffusers have not been tested. No specific claims are being made that use of any MONQ diffusers will lead to any of the effects discussed above.  Additionally, please note that MONQ diffusers have not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. MONQ diffusers are not intended to be used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, prevention, or treatment of any disease or medical condition. If you have a health condition or concern, please consult a physician or your alternative health care provider prior to using MONQ diffusers.

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