by Catherine Diyakonov
Have you ever noticed yourself getting sick as the seasons change? Spring is right around the corner, and knowing how distinguish a common cold from allergies is crucial! As the seasons alter, seasonal allergies increase a person’s vulnerability to infections. The main cause of this vulnerability is due to your immune system fighting off these various seasonal allergies. This susceptibility makes your immune system preoccupied, making it harder to prevent harmful pathogens from infecting your body.
During the winter, many believe that the cold weather can make you sick, but contrary to several myths, cold weather does not make you sick! Cold, dry air cuts down on the mucus which is supposed to coat the areas of your respiratory tract and trap harmful pathogens. This is one of the most prominent reasons many get sick when a gust of cold air blows past you.
Throughout the summer, the main reason for catching a cold are seasonal allergies. It has been found that many people may confuse their allergies for a common cold. The term “hay fever” comes from the time famers collected hay and suddenly become “sick with fever.” In reality, they were suffering from severe allergies!
There are several ways to find out if you truly have a cold, or if you are simply suffering from allergies. Colds can produce a fever, but allergies will never do. Allergies often cause itchy and watery eyes, a symptom which is rare to come by if you have a cold. The most prominent sign is the duration of the symptoms. Cold symptoms last two weeks at most, whereas allergies can last as long as the trigger is there.
To avoid getting sick, ensure you are properly washing your hands, getting exercise, and getting at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night to keep your immune system healthy and ready to fight any pathogens which may threaten your body.
The next time you think you have the common cold, try to notice if the seasons are changing! Instead of the common cold, you may simply be suffering with seasonal allergies.