Winter’s here again in Buffalo, NY, and that means that it’s cold and flu season. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to tell whether a bout of the sniffles means you’re suffering from your regular allergies or if you’ve finally caught that cold that’s been going around. However, if you don’t know which is which, you might end up taking the wrong treatment or over-medicating. Thankfully, all you need is a few simple tests to tell for sure whether it’s allergies vs. cold.

How are Allergies & Colds Different?

While colds and allergies may have similar symptoms, they’re not at all alike. Colds and flus are caused by viruses. If a virus enters your body and attacks enough of your cells, it will trigger an immune response in order to kill the foreign substance and prevent it from causing any further damage.

An allergic response is similar insofar as it involves the immune system; however, an allergen isn’t actually a harmful substance. An allergen, like animal dander, pollen, or peanuts, is a substance your body erroneously believes is dangerous.

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What Symptoms Should I Expect?

You can expect congestion, a runny nose, a post-nasal drip, and a cough whether you have an allergy or a cold. However, there are a few key symptoms that should clue you off. First of all, allergies never cause fevers.

Because an allergen doesn’t attack your body, it doesn’t take the body that long to destroy it, and therefore allergy attacks never last as long as colds or flus do. An allergy attack shouldn’t last more than a few hours where colds usually last up to a week.

Secondly, colds don’t cause itchy eyes. If your eyes are watering, you know for sure that you’re dealing with an allergy.

Allergies vs. Colds: How Should I Medicate?

There’s no shortage of effective cold and allergy medications available in the drug store today, but you have to be very careful when treating multiple symptoms. If you take a few different pills without properly comparing side effects and dosage requirements, you could really do some damage even if you’re only taking over-the-counter drugs.

Make sure, first and foremost, that you note the active ingredients. If you take two separate medications for two separate symptoms, but both of them contain acetaminophen, for example, you could be overdosing. In general, it’s better to err on the side of caution. If you’re not sure about the difference between allergies vs. colds, it’s better to not take anything at all. Of course, you can always consult your physician if you’re not sure.

Alternatively, there are always natural ways to medicate. Whether it’s a sinus headache or itchy eyes, you might not actually need a pill. Sometimes, nature’s own remedies are even more effective anyway, and they don’t come with as many negative side effects.

Last Thoughts: Allergies vs. Colds

Lastly, make sure that you go to see your local, Buffalo, NY ENT if symptoms don’t clear up after 2 weeks. If you’re still struggling with congestion, you may be suffering from another condition altogether.

Nosebleeds ~ the drippy (but not so dreadful) reality

Epistaxis, a condition commonly referred to as nosebleeds, occurs at the vascular area within the nose, which can bleed profusely as a result of facial trauma. The nose’s arterioles (tiny blood vessels) are vulnerably positioned and thus can easily rupture.

Approximately 60 percent of people experience epistaxis at some point in their life. Only 6 percent of those who suffer with nosebleeds tend to seek medical treatment, and even fewer require hospitalization.

Though epistaxis can occur at any age, it mostly has a bimodal distribution, afflicting toddlers to children age 10, as well as adults over 50. There are two types of nosebleeds – those that stem from the front of the nose (anterior) which are most common, and those that stem from the back of the nose (posterior) which are less common and more severe in nature.

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What is the Definition of an Allergy?

What are allergies anyway? Why do they exist in the first place? How do people develop them, and is there any way to cure them? As it turns out, allergies are still a bit of a medical mystery. While we do know how to treat them, we don’t know exactly why they exist. That being said, here’s your Buffalo, NY ENT’s allergy definition.

Natural Sinus Headache Treatments in Buffalo, NY

Sinus infections come with a whole host of aggravating symptoms, and if you’ve ever had an infection, you know how irritating it can be. Unfortunately, most sinus infections are viral, meaning that antibiotics won’t be effective. Thankfully, there are natural alternatives to treating sinus symptoms in Buffalo, NY that will have you back up on your feet in no time.

What Do You Know About Buffalo’s Allergy Count?

Even though we have a relatively short growing season, the allergy count in Buffalo, NY is relatively high. Why is that? | There are thousands of Buffalonians that suffer from seasonal allergies every year because of the high allergy count. So, if you do suffer from allergies, here’s what you need to know about our local forecast.

What to Expect From an Allergist in Buffalo, NY

Nervous for your first visit to the allergist in Buffalo, NY? Don’t be! Here’s what to expect and how to best prepare for your upcoming appointment.

The ENT May Not Be Able to Cure Your Sinus Infection

Yellow, green mucus, bad breath, congestion, runny nose, facial pain…uh oh, not another sinus infection. Should you head to the ENT, or should you hold out? If you answered the latter, then you’d be correct. As it turns out, there is no sinus infection cure for viral infections, so you’re better off waiting it out a bit.

Allergy Testing Could Help Prevent Anxiety in Teens

Adolescents in Buffalo, NY are busier than they ever were before. With violin lessons, baseball practice, youth group, social activities, and homework, they’re constantly under pressure. A recent study finds that those who also suffer from hay fever might be at a higher risk for developing depression and anxiety because of the added stress. If your child has an allergy, allergy testing can help you identify the allergen and develop an actionable plan for relief.

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How We Can Help You at Our Allergy Clinic in Buffalo, NY

Our physicians can diagnose both seasonal and perennial allergies at our allergy clinic in Buffalo, NY. Better yet, because our practitioners are certified to treat any conditions related to the ears, nose, or throat, you’ll receive a very thorough examination.