Are My Symptoms From Allergies or Something Else?



Your bedside table is covered in facial tissue, eye drops, and cough syrup, and you miserably wonder if all your symptoms are from allergies or another ailment. As allergy symptoms mimic those of other illnesses, it can often be difficult to tell. Fortunately, there are some key differences to help you figure it out. 

Understanding Allergies

First, it is important to understand what allergies are, which is your immune system’s defensive response to something it deems a threat (that may be harmless allergens). When your allergies are triggered, your body releases histamines that cause the following symptoms. 

  • Itchy throat
  • Runny nose
  • Sinus congestion
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Skin irritation

If you find that these symptoms worsen during the fall and spring, it may be due to common allergens such as pollen or certain grass species. Symptoms that persist year-round can suggest allergies to dust, pet dander, or mold. 

If you change your environmental factors and still experience these symptoms, it could indicate you are looking at a different illness.  A good rule of thumb is that if you have a fever, body aches, or nasal discharge, or your symptoms last less than 2 weeks, it is more than allergies. Further complicating matters is that you could be dealing with allergies and another illness at the same time. 

Allergies vs. Other Illnesses

As with allergies, the common cold causes sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, and fatigue, but the difference is that a cold will also cause aches, pains, or fever. Similarly, the flu will come on quickly, causing chills, muscle aches, and fatigue, along with a high fever that may last a few days. Bronchitis will cause cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, fever, chills, and chest ache. 

You will not experience itchy eyes with a sinus infection but may develop thick yellow or green nasal discharge, along with fever, tooth pain, and bad breath. You will not cough or sneeze with strep throat but will have a painful, sore throat with swollen tonsils. If your ailment is asthma, you will have a cough as with allergies but also chest tightness and wheezing. COVID-19 illness symptoms vary but often include fever, shortness of breath, loss of taste and smell, diarrhea, headaches, and sore throat. 

Discover the Root Cause at Faithfully Guided

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms and are unsure if they are allergies, another illness, or both, it is time to schedule an appointment with your functional provider at Faithfully Guided to discover the root cause of your symptoms. Our team of caring, experienced providers, is ready to figure out what is making you sick. Contact us to take care of yourself – in sickness and in health! 

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