Is It The Flu Or An Allergy?

September 01, 2020

Do You Know The Difference?

Find The Cause

You know the symptoms. There’s that mild irritation in your throat and then it begins - a cough at first, followed by sneezing, runny nose, itchy throat and watery eyes.
It is natural to assume that it is the common cold or flu and use some of the well-known remedies to nip it in the bud. However, there are times when the go-to remedies don’t really work. The symptoms don’t subside for weeks and you are left smelling like a cold balm. If this has happened to you before, then this article is for you.

Do You Know The Flu?

It’s common knowledge that the flu is a viral infection. It is caused by the Human Influenza Virus and affects your upper respiratory system. The flu is often accompanied by a fever, while the common cold is usually not. You can only catch the flu if you come in direct contact with someone who already has it. The flu usually goes away in 3 to 14 days. If the symptoms don't subside within that time frame, it is best to consult a doctor.  

What Causes An Allergy?

An allergy occurs when your immune system mistakes a foreign substance for germs and mounts an attack on them. This is usually magnified when people spend a lot more time indoors and are susceptible to indoor pollutants like dust, sand, pollen, dust mites, and pet dander. Common allergies include asthma, rhinitis and urticaria.

The Differences 

While the flu is usually caught from someone else, allergies are caused by an overactive immune system. Flu is often associated with fever, body pain and never lasts more than two weeks. Allergies, on the other hand, usually cause discomfort to the respiratory system and can last as long as you are around the allergy trigger.

What To Do About Your Allergy?

Just because you have respiratory difficulty doesn’t mean you have an allergy. The common cold is part of the body’s natural immune response but if the cold persists for a long time and is accompanied by discomfort in your eyes, then you are being exposed to an allergen. In such cases, you will need to take action and understand more about this.  Track your daily habits and identify the symptoms to isolate the triggers. Then consult an expert to recognise the best steps to prevent and treat them.

What To Do About The Flu?

Even though flu symptoms can be irritating to handle, you can generally get better with a little home care. But remember to consult your doctor if you have serious symptoms or if they get progressively worse. Drink a lot of clear fluids, like water, broth and sports drinks. Stop working out and rest as much as you need. Stay home from work for at least a day after your fever has subsided to avoid infecting others. You will most likely feel better within a week, but the coughing may last one or two weeks more.

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