Nasal congestion due to allergies is a condition when the body reacts to allergy-triggering factors (allergens). Many consider this condition a symptom of the common cold due to a virus. As a result, the condition of nasal congestion due to allergies is not handled properly.
Colds are often caused by a viral infection that attacks the upper respiratory tract. When an infection occurs, the immune system will try to fight back. This response then causes the symptoms of nasal congestion. Meanwhile, in colds due to allergies, blockage in the nose is caused by the immune system overreacting to allergens, such as dust or animal dander.
Distinguishing Colds due to Viruses and Allergies
Nasal congestion due to viruses and allergies have similar symptoms, so it is a bit difficult to tell the difference. However, there are several things that you can observe to distinguish these two conditions, namely:
- Time of coldViruses that cause colds will grow faster during the rainy season. Symptoms of a runny nose or runny nose usually appear only a few days after being infected by this virus. While colds caused by allergies can occur immediately after the body is exposed to the allergen. In addition to nasal congestion, other symptoms that appear in colds due to allergies are a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy or watery eyes.
- The length of time you have a coldColds due to viruses will generally last for 3 to 14 days. Meanwhile, colds due to allergies will last longer, even up to weeks. Especially if you continue to be exposed to allergens.
- FeverWhen you are infected with a virus that causes a cold, your body temperature will increase in response to fighting the virus, causing a fever. In contrast to colds due to allergies, which are generally not accompanied by fever.
- Nose fluid colorWhen you have a cold due to a virus, the mucus that comes out of your nose will usually be yellowish or greenish in color. In contrast to colds due to allergies, the mucus is colorless or clear.
How to Overcome a Congested Nose
Because the causes are different, nasal congestion due to viruses and allergies also need to be treated in different ways. For colds caused by viral infections, the treatment is enough by drinking more water, getting enough rest, and gargling with salt water. In addition, nasal spray containing oxymetazoline can also relieve the symptoms of nasal congestion in this condition. Avoid using antibiotics to treat colds due to viral infections, because antibiotics are only given to treat diseases caused by bacterial infections.
Meanwhile, in cases of colds due to allergies, you are recommended to avoid exposure to triggers, for example by using a mask, or regularly cleaning the house from dust and dirt. Treatment is given only aims to relieve symptoms due to allergic reactions. You can use nasal spray oxymetazoline to help clear a stuffy nose in no time.
This drug works by constricting the blood vessels in the nose that had swollen and clogged the nose due to an allergic reaction. The goal is that you can breathe freely again.
In more severe conditions, nasal spray oxymetazoline may need to be combined with topical corticosteroid drugs, usually in the form of nasal drops. This topical corticosteroid is useful for reducing inflammation that occurs in the nasal passages due to allergens. The combination of the two will eliminate allergies quickly.
Because the cause of a cold is not necessarily an ordinary viral infection, it is recommended that you consult a doctor so that he can be examined and given the appropriate treatment, especially if the symptoms do not improve, or if they continue to recur and become increasingly bothersome.