Cold or Allergy?

April showers bring May flowers and stubborn coughs

It is spring and many of us have suddenly been stricken with what seems like a cold. So how are you supposed to know if you have a cold or seasonal allergies?

If you have a lingering cough that just won’t go away, and it reoccurs on a seasonal basis, chances are its seasonal allergies. For instance, if you find yourself saying, “I always get a cold at this time of year” you should suspect allergies. Although don’t be surprised if your doctor looks bored when you mention a cough; as far as respiratory symptoms go, a cough is the most common symptom that sends people running to their physician’s office.

Cough is categorized in 2 distinct ways - an acute cough (which lasts 1 to 2 weeks) and a chronic cough, (which last more than 4 weeks). Coughing is your body’s way of clearing particles and mucous from your lungs and breathing passages. So coughing is a good thing – until it becomes a persistent menace. 

So what causes you to become a coughing mess come spring? Well, a whole host of things can be behind your coughing, including:

You see, not every cough is the sign of a problem that requires your doctor. The rule of thumb is that a daytime cough (particularly after a viral infection or simple cold) doesn’t require treatment. Only seek treatment if such a cough lasts more than two weeks. However, coughing at night after going to sleep is almost always a reason to see your doctor.

There are other aspects to a cough that should cue you to seek medical advice. For instance, you should head to the clinic if your cough was getting better, but suddenly turns for the worse. While sometimes harder to determine, you should seek help if your cough continues to impede daily activities or sleep. If you’ve had a prescription and your cough is not improving, you should probably go back to the doctor. If you cough up blood, get attention immediately.

News Release, March 2, 2006
American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (ACAAI)

Advertiser Links for Allergy Products [what's this?]

Search for allergy products

Allergy NewsTylenol AllergyAllergies and MoldAllergies to AlcoholProbiotics for Allergy PreventionVitamin D and AsthmaPeanut Allergies MisdiagnosedMouth Breathing RisksArchivesManaging Seasonal Allergies NaturallyClean Air in the CarThe Stress of Food AllergiesAntibiotics and Childhood AsthmaOptions for Allergy TestingSurvive Seasonal AllergiesGreen and Allergy-Free CleanSpring Allergies and Outdoor FunHay Fever and Work ProductivityTips for Seasonal Allergy SufferersCan Oral Therapy Cure Hayfever?Allergy Relief for Ragweed SeasonAsthma and Air QualityAsthma Friendly PillowAllergy Prevention for your BabyBetter Asthma ControlSurviving Winter AllergiesAsthma Misdiagnosed in the OverweightGet Rid of MitesInsect Stings Can be DeadlyPseudoephedrine Harder to FindA New Way to Test for Food AllergiesAcupressure for AllergiesAllergy Drops Instead of ShotsAvoiding an Asthma Attack Oral Allergy Syndrome Prevent Allergies with a PillSecondhand Smoke and Allergies Allergy Shots in the NewsAsthma and ChildbirthDusty House - Healthy ChildNasty Bed BugsPets and Their AllergiesSniffle-Free KittyAntibiotics & AllergiesAntihistamines & CancerHerbal Relief for AllergiesManaging AsthmaSneezy Days AheadSpring CleaningStubborn CoughUnwelcome ReturnWar on MethLifesaving DrugsColds vs AllergiesRagweed and Seasonal AllergiesThe Shape of Allergenic Proteins Allergy Shot AlternativesFood Allergy Prevention in InfantsMold AllergiesAre You Allergic to Cats?Dogs & Allergies: Myth & RealityChinese Medicine for Peanut AllergiesWhat is Well Controlled Asthma?Beating the Pollen BluesSurgery for Asthma Obese Children Risk AllergiesPollens and Intestinal ProblemsChildren's Peanut AllergiesPremature Babies and AsthmaSmallpox Vaccine RisksAllergy Product ReviewsAir FiltersAir PurifiersAsthma Respiratory CareCarpet CleaningCleaning ProductsDehumidifiersDust MitesFood AllergiesHayfeverHumidifiersMoldPersonal Care for AllergiesPet Allergy ProductsSinus ProblemsSkin AllergiesVacuum CleanersAllergy Relief ProductsGlossary FAQ