woman sick

Is It a Cold or Allergies?

The symptoms of the common cold are extremely similar to allergy symptoms. We associate sneezing, irritated eyes, an itchy nose, coughing and congestion with the common cold but all are also common for allergies.

You don’t want to treat someone for the common could if they have allergies. Learn how to tell if you or someone is suffering from a cold or allergies:

TRAITS OF A COLD

– The common cold is a virus that is passed through the air and sometimes through touch. The virus is contagious whereas allergies are not.

– The average American has 2-3 cases of the cold each year whereas allergies can occur repeatedly throughout an entire year.

– A severe cold will sometimes lead to high body temperatures and fevers and aches and pains not often associated with allergies.

– A cold typically lasts no longer than 3-10 days total. You can treat a cold with medication and rest will help speed up the recovery whereas allergies are permanent.

TRAITS OF ALLERGIES

– Allergies are an adverse reaction to various substances and materials in a home or environment.

– Common allergens found in homes are dust mites, pollen, dander and mold. Some Americans suffer from food allergies related to dairy and wheat.

– The body releases histamines to fight off allergens but the histamines are what lead to the coughing, sneezing and allergy symptoms.

– You will not experience a fever or body aches from allergies. If you are experiencing a fever you are suffering from a cold or another virus and not allergies.

The best indication as to whether you have allergies or a cold is whether you are suffering from a fever, body aches or a loss of appetite. These symptoms are related to the cold and viruses and not allergies.

If the symptoms persist for several days and there is no fever or aches then it is more likely that you are suffering from allergies.

If this is the case, you will need to find the triggers of the allergies in your home and do your best to remove them using HEPA filters, dehumidifiers and purchasing hypoallergenic products.

dust mite

Dust Mites in Your Home

One of the most common household allergens in the USA and the world are dust mites. You will find dust mites in bedding, clothing, carpet and furniture. Dust mites strive in humidity and warm areas and reproduce at rapid rates.

Learn more about dust mites below:

ABOUT DUST MITES

Dust mites are microscopic and invisible to the human eye. These allergens are so small that you will find over 1,000 dust mites in a single gram of dust. As mentioned above, dust mites reproduce fast. A pregnant female dust mite will produce 25-30 dust mites in a week of time so the amount of dust mites in your home can grow fast.

The most popular place to find dust mites in a home is in mattresses. Dust mites love mattress because they’re warm and dust mites can feed off of human skin flakes that fall off through a night of sleep. Your mattress will increase in weight over time as more and more dust mites live and reproduce on it.

You will often find dense populations of dust mites in carpet and in furniture too. Human skin flakes shed and fall to the ground on carpet or shed on furniture when you sit on it.

DUST MITE ALLERGY SYMPTOMS

You are allergic to dust mites if it is common for you to wake in the morning feeling congested or with a stuffy nose or red eyes. These are the most common dust mite allergy symptoms. 10% of the world’s population are allergic to dust mites and over 80% of allergy sufferers are allergic to the waste that dust mites produce.

HOW TO FIGHT DUST MITES

You can reduce the dust mite population in your home by using hypoallergenic bedding materials and cleaning your mattress multiple times a year. You should clean your bedding at least one time a week too.

Vacuum your carpet every day and schedule deep carpet cleaning at least once every 12 months to remove a large percentage of dust mites from carpet. You should also deep clean upholstery during the same appointment too to eliminate dust mites on sofas and chairs.

You should install a HEPA filter and provide good air circulation throughout your home too. The goal is for your home to not be humid. A dehumidifier will also help.

You now know how common dust mite allergens are in homes in the USA and world, dust mite symptoms and how to remove dust mites from your home for a healthier living space.