Saturday, 10 Jun 2023

Do you have hayfever or a spring cold? Expert explains how to distinguish between the two

Hay fever: Expert discusses best time to take antihistamine

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Meteorological Spring officially began in the UK on 1st March 2022, and while the season is primarily known for budding flora and fauna, longer warmer climes and (dare we say it) the appearance of some long-awaited sunshine, it is also a time that seasonal allergy symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis, or hay fever as it’s more commonly known, can start to make an appearance. Allergic rhinitis is prevalent in the UK, with an estimated 49 percent of the population reporting to suffer from symptoms, its symptoms can also sometimes be confused with that of the common cold.

Kristoffer Ahlerup, Commercial Director of Enzymatica, the manufacturers of ColdZyme helped to explain why.

He said: “Many people think of the common cold as an exclusively winter-based phenomenon and so when they get a cold outside of this time frame, they sometimes assume that something else is causing their symptoms.

“Whilst it’s true that the common cold is more prevalent in the winter-time due to a combination of an increase in indoor socialising, and cold viruses thriving in cold, dry conditions, colds are something that can be experienced all year round.

“In addition, as a result of us being less exposed to common cold viruses due to social distancing and mask-wearing, now those restrictions are lifting, common cold viruses are starting to re-emerge.”

He added: “Although some symptoms of the common cold and allergic rhinitis may be difficult to tell apart, the causes are different.

“Allergic rhinitis symptoms are caused by an immunoglobulin E (IgE) immune response to otherwise harmless substances in the environment such as pollen, whilst the common cold is caused by viruses.

“But it’s easy to see why people might get confused between the two. NHS England states that “allergic rhinitis typically causes cold-like symptoms, such as sneezing, itchiness and a blocked or runny nose”.

“If you compare these to common cold symptoms, there are some similarities.

“A recent survey conducted by Enzymatica (manufacturers of ColdZyme®), has revealed that a scratchy/itchy throat is the most common symptom people notice as an initial sign of catching a cold (60 percent of participants) followed by sneezing (57 percent), a headache (45 percent), and muscular pain (42 percent).”

It’s important to know the differences in symptoms of each so that you can treat them correctly:

Cold symptoms

Fever – rare

Cough – mild

Shortness of breath – no

Headache – sometimes

Sore throat – common

Runny or stuffy nose – common

Sneezing – common

Aches and pains – common

Fatigue – sometimes

Hay fever symptoms

Fever – no

Cough – sometimes (usually dry)

Shortness of breath – no

Headache – sometimes

Sore throat – ‘itchy’ throat

Runny or stuffy nose – common

Sneezing – common

Aches and pains – no

Fatigue – sometimes

How to treat symptoms of the common cold

Kristoffer explained: “Early action is most effective when it comes to the common cold, and whilst many people focus on products and methods that help alleviate their symptoms once they are suffering with a cold or virus, few focus their efforts on shortening the duration by acting at first symptoms.”

He continued: “Although we know cold viruses commonly result in blocked or runny noses, coughing and sore throats, it’s the earlier symptoms that our bodies show, which if we act quickly on, can help to shorten the length of a cold. ColdZyme® is specifically intended to be used as soon as those first symptoms start to appear.

“ColdZyme® works by capturing the virus in the back of the throat where it first starts to multiply. ColdZyme® forms a protective barrier, deactivating the viruses. It should be used every second hour, up to 6 times daily, until symptoms are relieved. ColdZyme® is suitable for adults and children over four years.”

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