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Colds and allergies often difficult to distinguish

Colds and allergies often have similar symptoms and may be easily misdiagnosed and thus mistreated. A cold will last about a week and are often associated with high temperatures or body aches and pains whereas allergies tend to last longer. Other cold symptoms include a sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, wheezing and watery and itchy eyes. Colds are usually caused by a virus which is quite contagious. Treatment involves rest, fluids and healthy food as well as oral decongestants and nasal salines to relieve symptoms. Allergens such as pollen, dust mites, animal dander, molds, fungi and cockroaches are frequently the trigger for allergies, causing irritation and inflammation of the nasal cavity. Other allergy symptoms include a runny, stuffy nose, sneezing, wheezing, water eyes and itchy eyes. Allergies are not contagious and an immunologist can determine what allergen is causing the response. As for colds, there are no cures for allergies but over-the-counter medications and allergy shots may treat the symptoms.

Source: summary of medical news story as reported by About

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About: Colds and allergies often difficult to distinguish

Date: 17 December 2004

Source: About

URL: http://allergies.about.com/cs/basics/a/blaaaai100803.htm

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