Symptoms of viral cold and allergy Rhinitis (Cold due to Allergy) can be similar for example runny nose, sneezing, coughing, congestion, itchy and watery eyes and fatigue. most patients suffering from allergies end up taking multiple course of antibiotics with no relief. So that Its important to identify the cause of these common symptoms.As Allergy is a progressive disease early diagnosis plays an important part for better control of symptoms.
following points are looked upon to differentiate viral cold from the allergy-
- Fever- Allergic cold and cough are not associated with fever where as symptoms of viral cold may be associated with fever.
- Duration- Viral colds clears in few days where as allergies may take weeks to subside.
- Nasal Discharge- Clear watery nasal discharge is common in Allergic rhinitis whereas nasal discharge is usually cloudy and yellow in common infections.
5. Environment- Indoor and outdoor environment play an important part in developing allergen sensitization for example indoor dust mite concentration is high in coastal cities due high humidity levels.
Allergies substantially impact quality of life .Allergic Rhinitis not only affect the sleep and performance at school or work but interfere with the recreational activities. many patients has to remain indoors to avoid allergen exposure while missing fun outdoors.
The allergist will carefully take a medical history and perform physical exam. Allergy skin tests are usually required to confirm specific allergies to outdoor (pollen, mold spores) and indoor allergens (cat, dog, dust mite, cockroach, mouse). Skin prick testing is done by placing small drops of allergen solutions on the forearm skin and gently pricking the skin through the drop with a sterile device. The skin test indicates the presence of allergy if the skin test site becomes red, raised, and itchy after 15 to 20 minutes.
Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis depends on the severity and persistence of the symptoms.Along with. Mild and intermittent symptoms can be controlled by OTC antihistamines. Prescription intranasal steroids are very effective for treating moderate intermittent nasal symptoms.For severe persistence symptoms affecting daily activities and sleep,not responding to medications,allergen immunotherapy may be prescribed by your allergist.Allergen immunotherapy should be continued for 3 to 5 years for lasting effect.Allergen immunotherapy is very effective in reducing allergy symptoms, need for anti allergy medicines reduces to 75 to 80 %.
An experienced and well trained allergist can work on your problem and prescribe the most effective treatment for your allergy cold that may improve overall quality of your life.