Posted on: 2 February 2021
When you have sniffles, a stuffy nose, and other respiratory symptoms, you are often left asking yourself whether you have allergies or a cold. In some situations, it is helpful to know. For instance, if you have ongoing allergy symptoms, you may need to see an allergist. If you have a cold, you may want to stay home so you don't spread it to others. However, there are some remedies and treatments you can turn to for relief regardless of whether your symptoms are ultimately due to a cold or allergies.
Diphenhydramine is a very popular, over-the-counter antihistamine. It is commonly taken to manage mild allergy symptoms, such as sneezing and itching. However, diphenhydramine can also be helpful if your symptoms happen to be caused by a cold. It can help alleviate inflammation and reduce excess mucous production in your nasal passages and sinus cavity. It also makes you drowsy, so if you take it before bed, it will help you get a good night's sleep, which is helpful for recovering from a cold.
Inhaling some warm water vapor can also help alleviate respiratory symptoms, whether they are due to allergies or the common cold. You can plug in a vaporizer that heats up water and pushes vapor out into your room. If you don't have a vaporizer, try just taking a really hot, steamy shower. You can let the room fill with vapor and just sit in there for an extra 10 – 15 minutes. The vapor helps loosen mucous so you can cough it up, and it will help ease irritation in your airways, too.
There are various menthol rubs that you can apply to your chest and throat. They basically work by releasing vapors that you inhale. The vapors soothe the nasal passages and throat. While menthol rubs are advertised as being a remedy for colds, they can be really helpful for allergies, too. In either case, you can apply a rub before you go to bed and have an easier time breathing while you are laying back. Some people like to put a little extra swipe of the rub just below their noses, but don't put it directly inside of your nose.
While it can be helpful to know whether you have a cold or allergies, you do not have to wait for a diagnosis to start managing your symptoms with the methods above.Share