Learn how to tell the allergies vs. cold apart in Alexandria.

Are you experiencing a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes? Is it just a cold, or could it be seasonal allergies? Determining the cause of your symptoms can be difficult, as the common cold and seasonal allergies share many similarities. However, understanding the differences can help you seek the appropriate medical care for a speedy recovery. If you’re in Alexandria wondering if your symptoms indicate allergies vs. a cold, Rapides Urgent Care is here to provide you with quality healthcare and help you differentiate between these conditions.

Common Cold Symptoms

The common cold is a viral infection that affects the upper respiratory system. According to the CDC, American adults experience two to three colds yearly. It is caused by different types of viruses and can be easily spread from person to person. Here are some common symptoms of a cold:

  • Runny or stuffy nose with thick or discolored mucus
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fatigue

In some cases, the cold may also be accompanied by fever and head or body aches. On average, symptoms last up to ten days unless symptoms develop into a more severe condition.

Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies vs. cold symptoms occur when your immune system reacts to specific environmental substances. About 25% of adults have some form of seasonal allergy, the most common being tree or grass pollen, ragweed, and mold. These allergies tend to occur during specific times of the year, depending on the allergen. Here are some common symptoms of seasonal allergies:

  • Sneezing or congestion
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Runny or stuffy nose with clear and watery discharge
  • Postnasal drip

While allergies are typically not a reason for concern, the symptoms can affect your daily life. If symptoms are persistent or you aren’t sure you are experiencing allergies vs. a cold, get in touch with Rapides Urgent Care in Alexandria for quick treatment.

Prevent Colds and Seasonal Allergies With Smart Practices

If you are sick with a cold, you may be contagious for a few days before symptoms start and afterward. However, taking steps to prevent colds and seasonal allergy triggers can help reduce the chances of experiencing these conditions. Here are some preventive measures you can take:

  • Wash your hands frequently. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water several times daily can help prevent the spread of cold viruses and allergens.
  • Avoid close contact with sick individuals. Viruses that cause colds are often highly contagious. Maintaining distance from those who are sick can reduce your risk of catching a cold.
  • Keep indoor environments clean. Regularly cleaning and dusting your home can help reduce allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, and mold.
  • Monitor pollen counts. Stay informed about pollen levels in your area, and limit your outdoor activities on days when pollen counts are high.

In addition to these prevention methods, drinking plenty of water and certain over-the-counter medication may help with symptom management. And for professional care for allergies vs. cold symptoms, visit Rapides Urgent Care in Alexandria.

Not Sure If It’s Allergies Vs. a Cold? Get the Care You Need in Alexandria!

If you’re unsure whether your symptoms are due to allergies vs. a cold, don’t worry. The experienced healthcare providers at Rapides Urgent Care can help you distinguish between the two and provide the appropriate medical care you need to recover. Our urgent care locations in Alexandria and Pineville are open with extended hours, making it convenient for you to seek treatment when most physicians’ offices are closed. Check-in at your closest clinic location or stop by at a time that works for you. Whether you’re dealing with allergies or a cold, our caring and skilled teams are ready to see you as quickly as possible.