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Cold & Flu Versus Allergies

Sep 13, 2023 | Allergens & dust

sick woman

How can I tell if I have a cold, flu, or allergies?

Fall is in the air, which can be a great thing aesthetically, but can also be a bit rough on the old sinuses. With the temperatures starting to come down a bit, it’s difficult to know if you have a common cold, the flu, or some fall allergies. All of these have similar symptoms, but treatment can vary some so it’s important to know the difference. We have the answers for you here, and you can check them out below.

Getting to the Source

In other words, the first step is you have to identify the source of your symptoms. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, an estimated 35 million people in the US suffer from pollen allergies or hay fever. Both are common here in Calgary during the spring and fall. So it is definitely a possibility. However, if your kids recently started back up at school where germs and viruses thrive, it’s possible they brought some of that back home to you. If you feel confident that your kid sneezed on you or touched you with a runny nose, then you can feel confident that the source of your symptoms is probably more cold or flu related. If you aren’t as confident in that, here’s how you can know:
A woman sneezing into a tissue

  • Time – Cold and flu symptoms usually make themselves known over the course of a few days and then die off quickly. However, allergic reactions can happen almost immediately and last a long time. In the worst cases, they can even last year round.
  • Treatment – Flu and colds typically just need to run their course. You can treat the symptoms, but as they say, there is no cure for the common cold. However, allergies and allergies symptoms like postnasal drip and watery/itchy eyes can be improved with the right care.
  • Temperature – Allergies are more than likely not going to give you a fever. If you find yourself above 37°, you more than likely have the flu or a cold.

Once you’ve identified the true source of your symptoms, you’ve already won half the battle. Now it’s time to take some action and either treat our allergies, or take measures to protect ourselves against cold and flu viruses. With cold and flu, take vitamins, get a flu shot, and if you do catch a virus, run it’s course and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen over time. Let’s take a deeper look at allergy treatments and preventions.

Safeguarding Against Fall Allergies

  • Outdoor Allergens — Ragweed is a common cause of fall allergies. It can produce up to one billion pollen grains per plant! This makes it responsible for up to 75% of reactions in people with hay fever. Along with ragweed, mold is also prevalent and can be found in corn mazes, hay bales, and the beautiful falling leaves.
  • Indoor Allergens — Unfortunately, you can’t just hide from your allergies indoors. Recent studies have found that indoor air can be up to ten times more polluted than outdoor air. This is due to existing indoor allergens like dust mites and pet dander. Plus, those same outdoor allergens are sneaky and can find their way into your home through your clothes, hair, and pets.
  • Airborne Allergens — When you open your windows in milder temperatures, that fresh air can carry a lot of airborne allergens directly into your home. This is especially a bad idea on days that have a high pollen count. If you really need to air out your home, remember to do some research from a reputable source that offers allergy tracking.

Reduce, Remove, Relieve

Not to be confused with reuse and recycle. Those are two things you don’t want to do with allergens and viruses. Just like avoiding flu and cold viruses, you can limit your exposure to allergens, but you can’t destroy them fully. However, you can reduce and remove existing allergens to achieve maximum relief. Routine cleaning and high-quality filters can help reduce and remove indoor allergens and relieve your symptoms.

  • Reduce — One way to reduce allergens is to install a high-quality furnace filter. Just make sure it has a minimum filtration rating of MERV 8. Remember to vacuum your rugs and carpeting at least weekly with a HEPA equipped vacuum cleaner. This will help reduce all kinds of allergens in your house!
  • Remove — One of the best ways to start the season off right is to get a deep cleaning from your local carpet cleaning team here at Chinook Chem-Dry. In a study conducted by a leading independent lab, our proprietary Hot Carbonating Extraction (HCE) process was found to remove common household allergens such as dog and cat dander and dust mites*, from carpets and upholstery. Additionally, our low-water HCE process uses about 80% less water than typical steam cleaners. This means your carpets will dry in just hours. Get back to your life quicker without the risk of mold and mildew growth within your carpet. A professional cleaning from the team here at Chem-Dry is safer for your home and healthier for you and your family.
  • Relieve — The bad news is some indoor and outdoor allergens are going to find their way to you. The good news is you don’t have to live with them. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, a professional cleaning from Chem-Dry may be all you need to provide the healthiest home for your family.

To learn more about creating a healthy home, schedule an appointment or request a free quote, from this Chem-Dry carpet cleaner in your area.