Ohio State Wexner Medical Center's Division of Sinus and Allergy physicians have specialized fellowship training in the medical and surgical treatment of a broad range of diseases and disorders affecting the nose and sinuses. Our physicians will evaluate whether allergies are contributing to these problems and, if needed, provide allergy immunotherapy. We offer a personalized treatment approach that is centered around you and your overall needs. Learn more about sinus care at Ohio State, and let our Columbus, Ohio ENT experts treat your allergy symptoms here at Ohio State.
What is the difference between allergies and a cold?
You feel miserable, but how do you know if you’ve got allergies versus a cold? As Dr. Princess Ogbogu, Director of Allergy and Immunology, explains, the symptoms vary slightly. Typically, a cold takes several days to develop and may include body aches as well as an eventual fever if a secondary infection begins. Cold symptoms of congestion, runny nose and sore throat resolve in a week or two.
With allergies, the symptoms may include sneezing, runny nose with clear mucus, a sore throat due to post-nasal drip, itchy/watery eyes or an itchy throat. Perhaps most telling is the immediate onset of symptoms with exposure to the irritants you are allergic to. With allergies, there are no body aches or fever. Also, symptoms usually don’t resolve within a week or two, lasting instead over many weeks or the entire allergy season.
Although over-the-counter medicines are available for allergies, Dr. Ogbobu recommends getting expert care with a board-certified allergist/immunologist who can perform allergy testing. With those results, your Ohio State physician can then develop a targeted treatment. One particularly effective treatment is immunotherapy, which is when you are given small, controlled exposure to your allergic triggers in order to train your immune system to not overreact. Many patients find significant relief with immunotherapy, which can be done with allergy shots or the sometimes preferred liquid drops under the tongue.
Even if you’re not 100 percent certain you have allergies or do not know what are your triggers, make an appointment with an Ohio State ENT expert today. It’s time to end your suffering.
Allergy Tests and Treatments