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Allergies, colds, and the flu are all prevalent during the winter, and all come with symptoms that look similar at their onset. What does that cough mean? Read on to find out!
Influenza distinguishes itself not just with respiratory symptoms, but often with pain and discomfort that spreads through your whole body. Watch for some of these distinct signs:
When you become infected with the flu virus, you usually develop a high fever, above 101 degrees. There is a finite start and ending to having the flu, doctors say. The symptoms come on quickly, and end about one to two weeks after you become infected.
A major difference between the cold and flu is that a cold probably wont' you a high fever or body aches. Fevers signaling a cold are generally low-grade, between 99 and 100 degrees.
In addition, a cold or virus typically operates on a schedule, meaning that their symptoms come in order. Symptoms that signal a cold include:
Most colds actually are viral and do not require antibiotics. Antibiotics are only useful in bacterial infections, and don't usually provide relief in viral cases. Remember, it's not guaranteed that mucus color indicates an infection even if yours is sometimes green - if it gets lighter in color and thinner, you probably don't have an infection.
Allergies don't go away in winter! Many people associate allergies with ragweed season in early fall or the high pollen count in spring, but winter has its own environmental hazards. If you're allergic to dust mites or mold, you may notice your allergies worsen in winter, particularly if you spend increased time indoors.
Changes in weather can bring on allergies due to increased irritants in the area, particularly in September's high ragweed season. Allergy symptoms may include:
A signal that you have allergies instead of a cold or the flu is when your mucus is clear, as opposed to yellow or green. The mucus also tends to be a little bit more runny.
Need to stock up on allergy, cold, and flu products? Visit Mountainside Medical Equipment! We've got everything from decongestants to pain relievers to antihistamines to get you through the season. Click this link to visit our allergy product collection, and click this link to visit our cold and flu products!
Please consult your doctor or other qualified medical professional before stopping or starting any medications, supplements, or health regimens.