It is easy to mistake allergy signs for something else entirely – learn how to differentiate allergy signs from other conditions.
Knowing the difference between allergy signs and something else may be a tricky prospect. Distinguishing one from the other is not always an easy task. However, it is important to figure out whether you are looking at allergy signs or something that is perhaps worse. This is the only way you can get the right treatment and pain alleviation in a timely manner. For someone who is prone to allergies, it is easy to see allergy signs in pretty much every ailment. A nagging cold is characterized as allergic signs triggered by pollen or mold. You probably end up reaching for the ingredients leaflet on every skin product to ensure that it does not contain anything that will cause your skin to break out into hives. These precautions are extremely important, when you consider that more than 50 percent of Americans test positive for at least one environmental or food-related allergen, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology.
Here’s how you can recognize an allergy at the first go:
- Inventory Your Symptoms
In order to know whether your symptoms are nasal allergy signs or a viral condition, you will need to inventory your symptoms. Distinguishing the problem is important because nasal allergy or allergic rhinitis affects more than 10-30 percent of adults, but the right treatment can help reduce these symptoms and allergy signs in more than 85 percent of these individuals. If you have a fever, joint or muscle pain, and greenish/yellow-colored mucus, you are most likely suffering from a regular cold. On the other hand, if your symptom checklist reads itchy or watery red eyes, sneezing, scratchiness in the nose, throat or ears, as well as clear nasal discharge, take your allergy medication instead.
- Timing is Crucial
The next two questions to answer are related to the timing of these potential allergy signs. How long have these symptoms lasted? Most common colds run their course in a week or so. If your symptoms have lasted for two to three weeks or more, they are most probably allergy signs that require your attention. Do your symptoms change with the changing seasons? If you are seeing these symptoms particularly when the seasons change or when the pollen counts are higher, they are more likely to be allergy signs than anything else. If the symptoms are present throughout the year, you cannot dismiss the idea that you may have year-round allergy signs. This is very possible if you are allergic to indoor allergens such as pets, cockroaches, dust, etc.
- Allergies Affect Multiple Systems
If you have some kind of food intolerance issue, then it is likely that you will face problems that are limited to your gastrointestinal tract. However, this is not the case with allergy signs. If you want to make sure that you have a food allergy, look out for allergy signs that go beyond the gastrointestinal area. Along with the regular symptoms of stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, stomach upsets, etc., you also need to watch out for allergy signs such as rashes and respiratory problems. This is because food allergies are known to trigger a number of systems in your body. If only your tummy is upset, it is more likely to be due to food intolerance, sensitivity, or even food poisoning.
- Check if it is a Nervous System Issue
If you are facing symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, nervousness, hyperactivity, or having trouble concentrating, do not blame it on allergies immediately. Though food allergies do make people irritable and restless, these allergy signs are almost always accompanied by other common manifestations of food allergies. If your problem pertains only to your brain and nervous system, it is prudent to first rule out brain and nervous system disorders before blaming it on allergies.
- Get Professional Help
If you are still unable to decide whether you are suffering from allergy signs or something else entirely, it may be time to bring in the big guns – go and get yourself checked by a doctor. Allergy signs are characterized by immune responses, and these can be tested to see if you really are allergic to something or have some other underlying condition. An allergist will be able to take you through a full evaluation for all allergy signs and conditions.