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Pediatric Childcare & Wellness

Our blog featuring Dr. McKillip and Shelly Nalbone. Email topic requests to shellynp@totdoc.com

Is it a cold or is it allergies?

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Monday, April 09 2012 in Info on illnesses

Colds are caused by hundreds of different viruses. When one of these viruses gets into your body, your immune system attacks. Some of the effects of this immune response are the classic symptoms of a cold, such as congestion and coughing.  The germs that cause colds are contagious. You can pick them up when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or you touch the germs with your hands.  Colds can last 10-14 days and do not respond to antibiotics.

Allergies are caused by an overactive immune system. For some reason, your body mistakes harmless substances -- such as mold or pollen -- for germs and attacks them. Your body releases chemicals such as histamine, just as it does when fighting a cold. This can cause swelling in your nasal passages, a runny nose, coughing, and sneezing. Allergies are not contagious, although some people may inherit a tendency to develop them.

Characteristic

Cold

Allergy

Duration

three-14 days

Days to months -- as long as you are exposed to the allergen

Time of year

Most often in the winter, but possible at any time

Any time of the year -- although the appearance of some allergens are seasonal

Onset of Symptoms

Symptoms take a few days to appear after infection with the virus.

Symptoms can begin immediately after exposure to the allergen

Cough

Often

Sometimes

Aches

Sometimes

Never

Fatigue

Sometimes

Sometimes

Fever

Sometimes

Never

Itchy, Watery eyes

Rarely

Often

Sore Throat

Often

Sometimes

Runny or Stuffy Nose

Often; usually yellow mucus

Often; usually clear mucus

 

If you have questions or concerns about your child’s symptoms please call the office.

 

If there is a topic that you would like more information on, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children for more than 17yrs. She graduated from Houston Baptist University in 1993 with her Bachelors Degree in Nursing and completed her Masters Degree at Texas Woman's University in 1999. Shelly completed a Post Masters Fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. She has spoken nationally on pediatric and adolescent health care topics and was a contributing author for a pediatric nursing textbook. Shelly is Associate Clinical Faculty for The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and LoneStar College Nursing programs. She lives in the Champions area with her husband and 2 children.