As a mother, there are always things to worry about regarding your child. Even relatively minor issues can be worrisome, especially if diagnosis is uncertain. One common question regarding the health of young children is how to distinguish between a common cold and chronic nasal allergies.Cold or Allergies?
Since colds and allergies have similar symptoms, it might seem not as important to distinguish between the two. However, if you can determine the source of a child’s allergic reaction, you can work to eliminate the cause, thus providing long-term relief. In the case of short-term relief, colds are best treated with decongestants while allergies will respond better to antihistamines.
There are several ways to distinguish chronic allergies from a simple cold, including:
*Length of the symptoms. While a cold will eventually diminish and congestion fade, usually within ten to fourteen days, allergies will linger much longer, particularly if they are seasonal allergies.
*Color of discharge. Nasal discharge from allergies is usually thin and clear, while that associated with a cold is thicker and often yellow or green.
*Symptoms occur in specific places or during specific seasons. If your child only sneezes and has a runny nose when visiting the neighbor who has cats, or suffers from congestion throughout the fall season, it’s quite likely that the cause is allergies rather than a cold.
Removing your child from the allergen and/or providing an antihistamine will help a great deal. Also, consult with a doctor for additional suggestions and advice on how to treat allergy symptoms. Supplying an appropriate treatment can go a long way toward helping your child feel better.