Nurse's Notes: All About Allergies

All About Allergies

How to Tell Whether You have Allergies or a Cold

By Rachel Crockford, BSN, RN, TJS School Nurse

What are Seasonal Allergies?

Allergies are an abnormal immune response to something that is usually harmless. Your body is programmed to fight germs, bacteria and viruses. When you experience an allergy, your body is attempting to fight an ordinary thing like grass, pollen or mold. Each season is the culprit of different allergens. Learn which season might affect you.


Is it a Cold or Allergies?

As spring approaches, allergies become a popular topic. Your nose starts running, and your eyes start watering. Do you have a cold? Is it allergies? Here are some ways to distinguish between the differences:

Timing
Colds tend to come on gradually. Sudden onset usually points to allergies.

Duration
On average, colds last about a week. Allergies will last for as long as you are exposed the irritant. This could be for months at a time.

Eyes
Are they red, itchy or watery? These symptoms tend to be due to allergies rather than a cold.

Fever
This is a cold symptom. Seasonal allergies are not accompanied by fever.

Runny Nose
Colds often have thick, yellow or green nasal discharge. This is a sign that your body is fighting a virus or infection. Allergies usually have thin, clear discharge.

For more information on allergies and tips for the upcoming season, check out these resources*:

*While these pages contain helpful information on allergies, The Joy School does not endorse Claritin or Zyrtec. Please do not take any medications without consulting a medical professional

This blog was originally shared in Nurse's Notes, a monthly newsletter by Nurse Rachel Crockford, BSN, RN.

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Rachel Crockford

About the Author

Rachel is a registered nurse who earned her Bachelor of Science from Drexel University in Pennsylvania. She extensive nursing experience in pediatric care, and previously worked at an elementary school in Virginia Beach. Rachel's family moved here from the east coast, and her husband is pursuing his MBA at Rice University. She has two children, Duke and Colt.

Degrees Held
Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Drexel University
Bachelor of Arts in History & Political Science



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