The Difference Between Common Cold & Allergies

When you develop a stuffy nose or irritating cough, you might assume it is caused by the common cold and nothing more. But how do you know these symptoms weren’t caused by allergies? It is never too late for you to start suffering from allergies.

Allergies

An allergy is a foreign protein substance that is commonly referred to as an allergen. When you inhale this foreign protein substance into your body, your immune system may overact if it does not recognize the substance. These substances can also get into your body by touching or eating them too.

The two most common allergens are dust and pollen. The immune system’s overreaction to these allergens will cause certain symptoms to occur, such as coughing, stuffy nose, wheezing, and itchy eyes. This is a result of histamine being released by the body in response to the overreaction in the immune system.

Common Cold

The cause of a common cold is not allergens, but rather a single virus strain. There are hundreds of virus strains on surfaces and floating in the air. If you become infected with a contagious virus, your immune system will respond by trying to attack it. During this attack, you will experience a number of side effects that come in the form of cold symptoms.

The most common symptoms include congestion, sore throat, coughing, and sneezing. It can take 1 to 2 weeks for the immune system to eliminate a virus. Once it does, those cold symptoms will go away. You will technically be immune to that particular virus strain, which means it can no longer make you sick. However, since there are hundreds of different strains in the air, any of them can make you sick again.

How to Tell the Difference

The symptoms are similar in each case. To tell whether you have a common cold or allergies, you must focus on how long you have the symptoms, and when you have the symptoms.

For instance, a common cold will last for no more than 2 weeks. You can get a cold at any time of the year. Allergies, on the other hand, usually infect people at a certain time of the year. This could be a time when pollen is in the air, and many people experience similar reactions. The duration of the symptoms will often be inconsistent too.

flu season san diego

How to Survive Cold & Flu Season in San Diego

The cold and flu season is brutal to all of us. It is the season when the leaves fall from the trees and change colors. You’ll wake up one day and notice that you have a sore throat, nasty cough, runny nose, or a number of other symptoms. How can you prevent yourself from getting any worse? Could you have taken some preventive action to avoid these symptoms? Keep reading to learn more about how to survive cold and flu season in San Diego. If you need to see a doctor immediately, visit Urgent Care La Jolla ASAP.

Tips for Surviving Flu Season in San Diego

The trick to surviving the cold and flu season is avoiding as many people and things as possible. Since you’re breathing in a lot of cold air outside, you’re likely inhaling germs, dust, and a lot of other airborne particles that are going to make you sick. While you cannot avoid these elements of the air, you can certainly take better care of yourself by watching who and what you interact with.

First, stay away from anyone whom you know is sick. If you see someone coughing in your house or at work, keep your distance from them until their symptoms go away. But if this sick person is your spouse or someone you love, then wash your hands often and ask them to do the same. You could even dust, disinfect, and clean all the surfaces in your home.

Do not share your food or beverages with someone else. Only drink from a clean glass, and only eat from a clean plate. Otherwise, germs could very easily be spread around to various people like you. If you can, only drink from a purified water bottle. Do not trust any open beverage containers because they’re likely contaminated with someone else’s germs.

A completely balanced diet is always a good thing, but it is even more important during this season. Eat foods with a lot of zinc and vitamin D in them because they will strengthen your immune system. Take a multivitamin one time per day with a meal in order to pack in the nutrients even more. You’ll want to focus on immune health the most during this season. If you can succeed, then your cold and flu symptoms will go away a lot faster than normal.

If the cold and flu season in San Diego has gotten the best of you, schedule your appointment today to see one of our urgent care doctors. Or give us a call directly: (858) 255-8325

 

How to Stay Safe While Enjoying Your Winter Sports

For those of you who are excited at the prospects of the many winter sports, here are some great tips to help you stay safe and enjoy yourself.

There are so many great winter sports including skiing, ice skating, and snowboarding that offer adrenaline rushes and hours of fun. Although these sports allow people to live on the edge, you should understand the physical risks that can accompany these activities.  Winter sports can be great fun if carried out with safety in mind.  Here are some great suggestions to make sure your winter fun stays fun…

Just like high-velocity summer sports, during your winter activities you should always wear a helmet.  Snowboarding and skiing are 2 of the 4 highest ranking extreme sports that lead to the most head and neck injuries. Both skiing and snowboarding lead to 55% of all concussions, which is higher than a lot of other summer and winter sports. Concussions can lead to a neurological deficit and therefore it’s extremely important that you protect your head with a helmet. Along with the potential for a head injury, high-velocity sports will greatly increase mechanical stress on your muscles and joints.

You should prepare your body for physical activities in the following ways:

  • Adequate nutrition; a well-balanced diet, and staying hydrated.
  • Proper stretching; warm-up your muscles before starting a sport.
  • Always wear appropriate protective equipment and padding.
  • Know your limits and understand when your body is close to exhaustion.

Some winter sports are more intense compared to other fast-paced winter activities such as ice hockey. It can be an uncontrollable environment that the participant is placed in. Although you might take all steps including being in great physical condition and wearing the proper equipment, Mother Nature is a powerful force that should be reckoned with and respected.

Dealing with sub-zero conditions, wind, altitude and conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia can be serious if not addressed properly.  Even the most experienced skier can end up in trouble if unexpected situations arise and they are not prepared.  When temperatures hit 32°F, hypothermia or frostbite can happen within a half hour to an hour or even in a matter of a few minutes.  The time frame will depend on the wind chill and changes in temperature.  You must be prepared for the unexpected:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings such as the weather and environment and be prepared for it.
  • Ensure your skin is covered properly with gloves, jackets, facemasks, and outerwear. Prevent all unnecessary exposure.
  • If predictions are that conditions will be bad, plan accordingly and protect yourself from exposure.
  • Never take part in winter sports alone!

Winter activities can be exhilarating and hours worth of fun but can be very dangerous if safety measures are not being adhered to. Understand the environment and your limitations!  By taking safety seriously, you will have a wonderful thrilling time in your local winter wonderland!