Allergies versus Colds

    Dr. Jennifer Sherman, an allergist at Summit Medical Group Allergy (Fair Lawn, NJ) talks about how to identify colds versus allergies.  Identifying which one you are dealing with, may also assist in expediting your recovery. 

    1. Don’t dismiss allergies because of the time of the year. Ragweed and pollen are big in our part of the world during certain months; while indoors, you can expect an uptick in dust mites as we spend more time inside keeping warm.

    2. If you’ve been sick longer than a week-and-a-half, it’s safe to assume allergies. A cold normally lasts seven to 10  days, so if you’re sneezing and hacking way beyond that, it’s likely an allergy. 

    3. A sore throat is not a symptom of allergies but you can still have one. That’s right; post-nasal drip caused by allergies can make your throat raw and achy. 

    4. Your allergies will NOT trigger a cold, and vice versa. Colds and allergies are two different ailments and should be handled as such.

    5. Treatment should be sought for allergies, but little can be done about a cold.

    So what is the best way to treat a cold?  The best way to beat a cold is to get rest and to drink plenty of fluids. Seek the assistance of over-the-counter meds if you need it.

    Dr. Jennifer Sherman is a physician at Allergy & Asthma Specialists, PC in Saddle River, New Jersey. She is board certified in pediatrics, and allergy and immunology. Dr. Sherman is a passionate advocate on national and local levels for patients with food allergy. She was named the honorary medical chair for the FAANs annual food allergy walk, serves as medical advisor to local support groups, is active in educating area school nurses, and frequently delivers lectures to other physicians on the subject of food allergy.