Common Medical Conditions

Is Common Cold a Disease or an Allergy?

Written by Dr. Ruchika Singh and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan

 
Image: Is Common Cold a Disease or an Allergy?

What Is Common Cold?

The common cold is a subtype of rhinitis (irritation or inflammation of nasal mucous membrane or nose) categorized as infectious rhinitis. As the name suggests, it is an infection and not an allergic reaction.

What Are the Causes of Common Cold?

More than hundreds of viruses are implicated in causing common cold but the most common are rhinovirus. It generally spreads through air during close contact with an infected person and by touching infected objects.

What Are the Risk Factors?

It is an airborne viral disease that can be caused in any situation, but few activities which seldom lead to the common cold are:

  • Daycare handling - taking care of a group of children.
  • Improper sleep - irregular and deficit sleep can cause this disease.
  • Psychological stress.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms?

Similar symptoms of allergic rhinitis and common cold are:

  • Running nose.
  • Sneezing.
  • Watery eyes.

The other symptoms of common cold are:

  • Fever.
  • Coughing.
  • Sore throat.
  • Translucent fluid discharge (transparent in case of an allergy).

In allergy, the symptoms appear rapidly just after getting in contact with the allergen, while in common cold, it takes a day or two.

What Are the Precautions to Be Taken?

  1. Washing hands after touching an object or after coming back home and before meals.
  2. Maintaining hygeine.
  3. Use of face mask as they prevent direct inhalation of infectants.

What Are the Treatment Options?

Most of the time, people misunderstand common cold with allergy, and they take anti-histamine drugs which provide few symptomatic relief but do not cure the infection. Treatment of common cold includes symptomatic therapy (removal of symptoms) like:

  1. Acetaminophen (Paracetamol) for fever.
  2. Antitussives for cough.

There are no specific medicines available to treat cold, and it cannot be treated with antibiotics also.

 
Last reviewed at: 20.May.2019

RATING

16
 


Do you have a question on Allergy or Cold?
 
* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.
 

Related Questions & Answers


My allergy does not subside with 10 mg Cetirizine. Should I take 20 mg?
Query: Hi doctor, I have been taking 10 mg Singulair and 10 mg Cetirizine for five years for allergies, asthma, and Lyme. I just got two more kittens, and the medicines do not work anymore. I am miserable and desperate. I asked my doctor to give me 20 mg of Cetirizine and something else because I think ...  Read Full »
Dr. Shyam Kalyan N
ENT Otolaryngologist

Answer: Hello, Welcome to icliniq.com. Please get an allergy testing done, either a skin prick or a blood comprehensive. Next, based on the allergens you are sensitive to, we can advise you on further course of action. With respect to getting tolerant to Cetirizine 10 mg, why not try Fexofenadine 120 or 180...  Read Full »
 
Have allergy problems. I always have runny nose or sore throat or excessive sneezing and coughing and cannot breathe normally.
Query: Hello, I have been having allergy problems for many years. I cannot breathe from my nose even if it is not blocked because I feel like I get less oxygen from my nose. I also have asthma and as the seasons change my allergies react. I always have running nose or sore throat or excessive sneezing and ...  Read Full »
Dr. Vaishali Mehta
ENT Otolaryngologist

Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. I totally understand your concern regarding cure of allergies. Unfortunately, allergy of the nose cannot be totally cured, but definitely can be prevented. I would recommend the following:1. Get an allergy skin test done; so as to identify the allergen.  Avoiding the a...  Read Full »
 
Why do I feel sharp pain when anything cold touches my filled tooth?
Query: Hello doctor, I had my filling two years ago and it has been going well for a few months. I have had no problem with it but recently anything really cold touches it and I get a sharp pain. Hot foods cause no problem and sometimes it just hurts by itself.  Read Full »
Dr. Muzaffer Hussain Parray
Dentist

Answer: Hello, Welcome to icliniq.com. It seems there are secondary caries below the loose filling. You need to get it removed as soon as possible. Replace it with a new one.  With regards to your symptoms, the probable cause may be a faulty restoration. The probable diagnosis could be a ...  Read Full »
 

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours

Related Tags