Differentiating allergic colds and colds due to infection
Almost everyone has had a cold. When a cold, the nose will runny, blocked, or itchy to sneezing. The causes can vary, but the most frequent are allergies and viral infections. Check out the following explanation about the difference between allergic colds and colds due to infection.
Colds, or in medical terms called rhinitis, is a sign of inflammation of the nose. This inflammatory process functions to fight organisms, such as bacteria and viruses; or foreign objects, such as dust, animal hair, and cigarette smoke.
Colds mostly only last a few days. But under certain conditions, colds can last up to several weeks, even several months.
Difference between allergic colds and colds due to infection
The main difference between allergic colds and colds due to infections is its cause. Allergic colds occur because sufferers have allergic reactions to allergens (allergens), such as dust, fleas, mold, fur or animal feces, perfume, cigarette smoke or vehicles, and cold weather. Whereas in colds due to infection, the most frequent cause is a virus.
Symptoms between allergic colds and colds due to infection also have a slight difference. Symptoms of allergic colds can be:
Runny nose (runny) with clear or whitish mucus color.
Red, watery, and itchy eyes.
Symptoms of allergic colds will appear shortly or some time after the body has been exposed to allergens.
Whereas in cold infections, symptoms can be more varied. Some symptoms of a cold due to infection are:
Runny nose with a runny whitish color if caused by a virus, or yellowish and green if caused by bacteria.
Fever or fever.
Muscle aches throughout the body.
A person can catch a cold due to infection if it is close to people who are suffering from this condition. Symptoms of a cold infection usually appear within a few days after a virus or bacteria enters the body.
Treatment for allergic colds and colds due to infection
Treatment for allergic colds is to avoid exposure to allergens or allergens. After the trigger is avoided, the symptoms will usually improve on their own within a few days.
If the symptoms of allergic colds are felt to be very disturbing, administration of drugs can help reduce symptoms. Drugs to reduce the symptoms of allergic colds can be in the form of antihistamines (antiallergics) and decongestants (nasal loosening). These drugs are available in the form of tablets or capsules taken by mouth, and in the form of nasal sprays, both which can be purchased freely or must be by a doctor’s prescription.
Meanwhile, to treat colds due to viral infections, you only need to have enough rest. These types of colds will usually heal themselves within a few days to 1-2 weeks. If you have a fever, you can take pain medications, such as paracetamol. Antibiotics are only needed if colds are caused by bacterial infections, and their use should be based on doctor’s advice.
Preventive steps for allergic colds and colds due to infection
There are several steps you can take to prevent colds, both due to allergies or infections, namely:
Knowing the triggers for allergies and avoid contact with these allergens as much as possible.
Do not rub your nose because of the risk of causing injury and infection.
Diligent hand washing with soap and water.
Maintain environmental cleanliness and maintain air quality so that it is always clean.
Wear a mask when traveling or when someone is sick at home or office.
Get enough rest.
Stay away from cigarette smoke.
Sometimes, colds due to allergies and infections can occur simultaneously. A study shows that viral infections can worsen the symptoms of allergic colds, but this still needs further investigation
To prevent and treat colds due to allergies and infections, try the methods above. However, if colds often recur, are not known to trigger factors, or to cause shortness of breath, wheezing, or severe cough, you should immediately check the condition to the ENT doctor.