Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Sneezing Runny Nose Sore Throat

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Is It Allergies or a Cold?

Symptoms for season allergies, the common cold and coronavirus can overlap. In some cases, however, the symptoms can differ.

In the fall, Illinois’ top public health official warned that people should take notice of any potential coronavirus symptoms as they could be confused with seasonal allergies.

“I keep hearing from my contact tracers at the local health departments that they’re hearing the same story over and over: ‘I had no idea that I was positive. The symptoms I had I thought were allergy symptoms. I never would have thought it was COVID,'” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said at the time.

Seasonal allergies can sometimes bring with them a cough and runny nose – both of which can be associated with some coronavirus cases, or even the common cold – but they also bring itchy or watery eyes and sneezing, symptoms that are uncommon in coronavirus patients.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, both allergies and coronavirus bring with them the potential for a cough, shortness of breath or breathing difficulties, fatigue, headaches, a sore throat and congestion.

Symptoms more associated with coronavirus than allergies include fever, muscle and body aches, new loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.

Allergies can occasionally be met with a loss of taste or smell.

The CDC reports that pollen exposure can trigger allergic reactions, such as symptoms of hay fever.

Prop Up Head On Pillow

If youre having difficulty sleeping due to a runny nose, one strategy that may be helpful is propping your head up on a pillow. RestWell explains that propping your head on a pillow can help make it easier for your nose and sinuses to drain.

At night, its common for mucus to pool in the head which can cause headaches and make it difficult to breathe and sleep at night. Elevating your head on a pillow can help to drain the sinuses and relieve the pressure that may build up because of nasal congestion.

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What If My Strep Throat Isnt Getting Better

If your strep throat is not getting better, let your healthcare provider know right away. Do not stop taking your prescribed medicine unless your health care provider tells you to. Call your healthcare provider if these symptoms occur:

  • Fever one or two days after feeling better
  • Dark urine, rash, or chest pain

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Runny Nose Or Nasal Congestion

A runny nose or nasal congestion are two of the most common symptoms of a cold. These symptoms result when excess fluid causes blood vessels and mucous membranes within the nose to swell. Within three days, nasal discharge tends to become thicker and yellow or green in color. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , these types of nasal discharge are normal. Someone with a cold also may have postnasal drip, where mucus travels from the nose down to the throat.

These nasal symptoms are common with colds. However, call your doctor if they last more than 10 days, you begin to have yellow/green nasal discharge, or a severe headache or sinus pain, as you may have developed a sinus infection .

Similarities Vs Differences Among Covid

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Influenza and COVID-19, the pandemic illness caused by SARS-CoV-2, are both contagious respiratory diseases, affecting the lungs and respiratory symptoms. Although COVID-19 and flu share some similar symptoms, COVID-19 appears to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious complications in some people. In addition, it can also take longer before people with COVID-19 to exhibit their symptoms. Besides flu, allergies and common cold also pose certain similar symptoms of COVID-19, ranging from mild to severe. The similarity of symptoms makes them hard to diagnose distinctively. Nevertheless, there seem to be some differences that can be used to distinguish COVID-19 from flu, allergies and common cold. Regardless of the cause of symptom, if abnormal sign arises, immediate medical attention must be sought.


In regards to current studies, there is no clinical evidence yet obtained to confirm that patients who have allergies as their underlying condition are more susceptible to COVID-19 infections than general populations. However, if patients with allergies become infected with COVID-19, the chance of developing serious complications substantially rise while their preexisting symptoms can be exacerbated.

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What Are The Complications Of The Common Cold

Colds can lead to secondary infections, including bacterial, middle ear, and sinus infections that may require treatment with antibiotics. If you have a cold along with high fever, sinus pain, significantly swollen glands, or a mucus-producing cough, see your healthcare provider. You may need additional treatment.

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Cold Flu Allergies Or Covid

This article was updated April 18, 2022.

There are many similar symptoms of cold, flu, allergies and COVID-19.

Sometimes, it may be difficult to determine what ailment you may be experiencing.

So how can you know whether you are dealing with allergies, a common cold, the flu or COVID-19?

The biggest difference is the shortness of breath associated with COVID-19. The flu or cold does not cause shortness of breath unless it progresses to pneumonia.

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting

A cold, which could be triggered by more than 200 different viruses, can make you miserable but is relatively harmless. It usually clears up by itself after a period of time, although it can sometimes lead to a secondary infection, such as an ear infection. Common cold symptoms include sneezing, stuffy nose, sore throat and mild to moderate chest discomfort and cough.

Influenza, however, can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia and even death. What may seem like a cold could actually be the flu. Symptoms include fever or feverish/chills, cough, muscle or body aches, headache, fatigue, runny or stuffy nose and sore throat.

Allergies are typically chronic conditions presenting with symptoms off and on depending perhaps on the season or your environment. Those suffering from allergies deal with itchy eyes, a runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion.

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Covid Sore Throat Remedy

How to tell the flu from a cold

For symptom relief, use over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or Motrin for fever, body aches and pain. For sinus issues, congestion, ear or facial pain, try a decongestant or allergy medication. And for a persistent cough that produces mucus, Mucinex is a good option. And continue to rest and consume plenty of fluids, like water and herbal tea.

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How Do People Get Strep Throat

The bacteria that cause strep throat tend to hang out in the nose and throat. So normal activities like sneezing, coughing, or shaking hands can easily spread an infection from one person to another.

Kids with untreated strep throat are more likely to spread the infection when their symptoms are most severe, but can still infect others for up to 3 weeks.

That’s why it’s so important to teach kids to wash their hands. well and often. This can lower their chances of getting contagious diseases like strep throat.

Colds Dont Usually Come With A Significant Fever

While you may be running a little warmer, colds rarely come with a significant fever. And while you can still have the flu without a fever, the flu typically comes with a few days above 100° Fahrenheit.

A flu fever will likely come on fast. This is an especially common flu symptom in kids. Keep an eye on the little ones and the elderly, as they will be more susceptible to complications. Also, keep drinking liquids and get lots of rest.

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When Should You See A Doctor

If you have diarrhea that lasts more than several days or notice blood in your stool, then you need to seek medical care, says Dr. Chhabra. Prolonged nausea that lasts more than one to two weeks is also a sign that its time to check in with your doc.

Dehydration is another major concern with the 24-hour flu, so if you feel lightheaded, dizzy, delirious, or have dry mouth, lips, or eyes, then you need to go to the emergency room or urgent care ASAP, says Dr. Chhabra.

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When Should I Contact A Healthcare Provider To Treat A Runny Nose

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A runny nose will typically go away on its own. However, a healthcare provider should be contacted if:

  • The symptoms continue for more than 10 days and there is no improvement.
  • Symptoms are severe or unusual.
  • Drainage from your young childs nose comes from only one side and is green, bloody or foul-smelling, or if you have other reason to believe there may be a foreign object stuck in their nose.

Your healthcare provider will perform a physical examination to make sure the runny nose is not a symptom of a more serious condition.

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What Causes The Common Cold

A cold is caused by any one of several viruses that causes inflammation of the membranes that line the nose and throat. It can result from any one of more than 200 different viruses. But, the rhinoviruses causes most colds.

The common cold is very easily spread to others. It’s often spread through airborne droplets that are coughed or sneezed into the air by the sick person. The droplets are then inhaled by another person. Colds can also be spread when a sick person touches you or a surface that you then touch.

Contrary to popular belief, cold weather or being chilled doesn’t cause a cold. However, more colds do occur during the cold season . This is probably due to a variety of factors, including:

  • Schools are in session, increasing the risk for exposure to the virus

  • People stay more indoors and are in closer proximity to each other

  • Low humidity, causing dry nasal passages which are more susceptible to cold viruses

Despite Symptoms Its Not The Flu

COVID-19 is not the flu.

As one of a class of pathogens known as coronaviruses, COVID-19 is actually more closely related to the common cold than the seasonal flu.

However, despite some overlap, the typical symptoms of COVID-19 are more similar to the flu than the common cold .

The Delta variant, however, may have more cold-like symptoms.

In terms of differentiating between flu and COVID-19, it can be almost impossible to distinguish, Dr. Jake Deutsch, co-founder and clinical director of Cure Urgent Care and Specialty Infusion in New York. Thats why people are recommended to have flu vaccinations so it can at least minimize the risk of flu in light of everything else.

Fevers, body aches, coughing, sneezing could all be equally attributed to them both, so it really means that if theres a concern for flu, theres a concern for COVID-19, Deutsch said.

When and where you get sick might be the best predictor of whether you have a cold, the flu, or COVID-19, Yildirim said.

People living in communities with low vaccination rates and high rates of COVID-19 are more likely to have COVID-19, she said, especially outside of cold and flu season.

However, she said, differentiating becomes more difficult during the winter, when all three diseases may be widespread.

If you have a mild case of COVID-19, the flu, or a cold, treatment is geared toward management of symptoms, said Cutler.

Mild cases of COVID-19 are thought to last approximately 2 weeks, said Cutler.

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Sore Throat Sneezing Coughing Is It Allergies Or Covid

Flu vs. COVID-19: Signs & symptoms

You have a scratchy, sore throat. Your nose is running. Youre coughing, and to top it off, you have a headache.

Youve been here before, you may think. Youve had allergies. For some, the symptoms started in the spring, and we’re about to enter ragweed season, when allergy symptoms will be screaming, right?

But wait. Are these only allergy symptoms? Or are they the symptoms of the most predominant omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5 now spreading throughout Cincinnati, Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

The subvariants have pushed hospitalizations and COVID-19 cases high enough that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week recommended indoor masking in eight local counties

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When To Worry About A Sore Throat

A sore throat by itself is typically not something to worry about, Dr. Curtis said.

Your throat could be irritated from allergies, air pollution or overuse. It could also be due to smoking, in which case the solution is simple .

If it lingers longer than a week, however, you should contact your physician.

The main point, according to Dr. Curtis, with so many diagnoses, its safest to get it checked out. You should contact your physician if you have any questions or concerns about your health and any symptoms you experience.

Relief For A Stuffy Nose Cough And Sore Throat

There are no treatments that fight cold viruses directly. But nasal sprays and painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can provide some relief from cold symptoms. Many other treatments have either not been studied well enough or have no proven benefit.

Colds are very common: On average, adults come down with a cold 2 to 4 times a year, and children have as many as 6 to 8 colds a year. The reason that colds are so common is that they can be caused by very many different kinds of viruses. So having had one virus doesnt make you immune to other cold viruses.

Colds usually go away on their own after about one to two weeks. Although the symptoms such as a runny or stuffy nose, cough and headache can be bothersome, you dont need to take medication. None of the currently available treatments can shorten the length of a cold. Antibiotics only fight bacteria so they dont help in the treatment of simple common colds that are caused by viruses. They can have side effects too, so they should only be used if a bacterial infection develops as a complication of the cold.

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Who Is At High Risk From Covid

For most people whove been vaccinated and children, even if they havent had a jab Covid infections are usually mild, and typically last for up to a week.

But some groups are still at higher risk and need protecting from Covid and other respiratory infections, including:

  • people of any age whose immune system means they are at higher risk of serious illness
  • people of any age with certain long-term conditions

Some very young children who were born prematurely or who have heart conditions are also at risk from RSV, another respiratory virus.

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The symptoms of ear pain, runny nose, and sore throat can occur with upper respiratory infections including the common cold and viral sore throat as well as sinus infections. Strep throat may also cause similar symptoms. If you have signs of an infection that do not improve, discuss your symptoms with your doctor so that you can receive appropriate treatment.

While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:

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