Can You Tell the Difference Between Cold, Flu, and Allergies?
What are you doing this fall to protect yourself from germs, bacteria, and viruses that usually accompany the beautiful season? Many families are running to flu shots and natural immune boosters to help their family make it through the constant sniffling.
Have you considered your allergies, though? Colder weather outside usually means less pollen, so allergies shouldn’t be a problem, right? This is not always the case. In many situations, when cold and flu season rolls around it just makes allergies harder to recognize and treat properly.
Identify the Source
35 million people in the U.S. suffer from pollen, allergies, or hay fever, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American. It can be very difficult to differentiate symptoms of fall allergies, flu viruses, and colds when they are all so similar. If you are experiencing sneezing, coughing, a runny or stuffy nose, itchy nose and throat, and dark circles under your eyes, how can you figure out what is really wrong?
- Treatment: As you well know, flu and cold viruses have to completely run their course. Fall allergies can be improved with proper treatment if you are experiencing symptoms like postnasal drip and swollen, watery or itchy eyes.
- Time: Within the course of a few days flu and cold viruses will appear and go away. If you are experiencing fall allergies, symptoms can occur immediately and last year-round if the allergen you are reacting to is constantly exposed to you.
- Temperature: If a fever occurs you can most likely rule out fall allergies. Viruses generally can cause a fever but allergies will not.
Knowing symptoms can help you treat the right problem. There are many things you can do to prevent flu viruses, cold, and hay fever. The first thing to understand is common fall allergens.
Safeguard against Fall Allergies
- Airborne Allergens — On days with warmer temperatures, it can sound like a great idea to open up windows and doors to let the fresh air in. However, that nice air can bring in allergens, such as ragweed, right into your living space. If you are aching to air out your home, you can track low allergen level in your area by consulting a website or app from a reputable weather channel. On low allergen days, throw open those doors and windows wide.
- Indoor Allergens — Some people assume that staying indoors will save them from fall allergies. However, an independent study recently found that indoor air can be 10 times more polluted than outdoor air. Dust mites, pet dander, outdoor allergens come into our home on our clothes, hair, and pets, to add to the existing indoor allergens.
- Outdoor Allergens — Ragweed is very prevalent in the fall and can produce (and send airborne) up to one billion pollen grains per plant, making it responsible for 75% of reactions in people with hay fever allergies. Another big outdoor allergen this time of year is mold, which can lurk in the stalks of your favorite corn maze or hay bale ride, not to mention all those beautiful mounds of multi-colored leaves.
Reduce, Remove, Relieve
Just like you can prepare for flu and cold season you can also limit allergen exposure. However, you can’t completely block them. You can reduce and remove allergens to help your symptoms. Filters and constant cleaning can relieve fall allergy symptoms.
- Reduce — HEPA filter vacuums, furnace filters with filtration rating of atleast MERV 8, and regular vacuuming can reduce allergens in your home.
- Remove — Fall is a great time to deep clean your carpets and upholstery to help remove household allergens. Temecula Valley Chem-Dry had a leading independent lab test how clean are carpet cleaning really was. The results found that our Hot Carbonating Extraction (HCE) process removed, on average, 98% of common household allergens from carpets and upholstery. When sanitizer was added 89% of airborne bacteria was eliminated. Temecula Valley Chem-Dry’s unique process uses 80% less water so your carpets will dry in 1-2 hours instead of days. This mitigates the risk of mold or mildew growth that comes from carpet or upholstery cleaning with excessive water usage. For a healthier home choose Temecula Valley Chem-Dry.
- Relieve — Even in all the best cases, indoor and outdoor allergens are going to be in our homes. However, we don’t have to keep them there. With or without allergies you can provide a healthier home for your family by having a Chem-Dry carpet cleaning to improve your indoor air qualit.