Allergies are common conditions that affect millions of people around the world. They occur when your immune system reacts to substances that are harmless to most people, such as pollen, dust, or pet dander. Allergies can cause various symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and skin rashes. But can allergies also cause a fever?
The answer is no. Allergies do not cause a fever. However, sometimes allergies can make you more prone to infections, such as sinusitis, which can cause a fever. Other conditions, such as colds or flu, can also cause fever and allergy-like symptoms. Therefore, it is important to know how to tell the difference between allergies and infections, and when to seek medical attention.
In this article, we will explain the possible causes of fever and allergy symptoms, how to diagnose them, and how to treat them. We will also provide some tips on how to prevent and manage allergies.
What Causes Fever and Allergy Symptoms?
Fever is a sign that your body is fighting an infection or inflammation. It is usually defined as a body temperature above 100.4°F (38°C). Fever can be caused by various factors, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, or autoimmune diseases.
Allergy symptoms are caused by your immune system’s response to allergens, which are substances that trigger an allergic reaction. Allergens can be inhaled, ingested, or come in contact with your skin or mucous membranes. When you are exposed to an allergen, your body produces a chemical called histamine, which causes inflammation and irritation in your tissues.
Some of the common causes of fever and allergy symptoms are:
- Sinusitis: This is an infection or inflammation of the sinuses, which are air-filled cavities in your skull. Sinusitis can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or allergies. Sinusitis can cause symptoms such as nasal congestion, discharge, pain, pressure, headache, cough, and fever.
- Flu: This is a viral infection that affects your respiratory system. Flu can cause symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, fatigue, sore throat, cough, runny nose, and headache. Flu can also increase your risk of complications such as pneumonia or bronchitis.
- Common cold: This is another viral infection that affects your respiratory system. Common cold can cause symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, congestion, sore throat, cough, and low-grade fever. Common cold usually lasts for a few days and does not require treatment.
- COVID-19: This is a new coronavirus disease that emerged in 2019 and has caused a global pandemic. COVID-19 can cause symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, headache, fatigue, and diarrhea. COVID-19 can also lead to serious complications such as pneumonia or organ failure.
How to Diagnose Fever and Allergy Symptoms?
If you have fever and allergy symptoms, you should see your doctor for a proper diagnosis. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, symptoms, exposure to allergens or infections, and medications. Your doctor may also perform a physical exam and order some tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Some of the tests that your doctor may order are:
- Blood tests: These can help detect signs of infection or inflammation in your body. They can also measure the levels of antibodies or immunoglobulins that indicate an allergic reaction.
- Nasal swab: This can help identify the type of virus or bacteria that is causing your sinusitis or respiratory infection. It can also detect the presence of COVID-19.
- Allergy skin test: This can help identify the specific allergens that trigger your allergic reaction. It involves placing small amounts of allergens on your skin and observing for any reactions.
- Allergy blood test: This can also help identify the specific allergens that trigger your allergic reaction. It involves measuring the levels of antibodies or immunoglobulins in your blood that respond to different allergens.
How to Treat Fever and Allergy Symptoms?
The treatment of fever and allergy symptoms depends on the cause and severity of your condition. Your doctor may prescribe some medications or recommend some home remedies to help you feel better.
Some of the common treatments for fever and allergy symptoms are:
- Antihistamines: These are drugs that block the effects of histamine in your body. They can help reduce inflammation and relieve allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and skin rashes.
- Decongestants: These are drugs that shrink the blood vessels in your nose and sinuses. They can help reduce congestion and improve breathing.
- Pain relievers: These are drugs that reduce pain and inflammation in your body. They can help lower fever and ease headache or sinus pain.
- Antibiotics: These are drugs that kill bacteria or prevent them from multiplying. They can help treat bacterial infections such as sinusitis or pneumonia. However, they are not effective against viral infections such as colds or flu.
- Antivirals: These are drugs that interfere with the replication of viruses. They can help treat viral infections such as flu or COVID-19. However, they are not effective against all types of viruses and may have side effects.
- Steroids: These are drugs that suppress your immune system and reduce inflammation in your body. They can help treat severe allergic reactions or complications such as asthma or bronchitis. However, they may have side effects and should be used with caution.
- Immunotherapy: This is a treatment that involves exposing your body to small amounts of allergens over time to desensitize your immune system and reduce your allergic reaction. It can help prevent or reduce the severity of future allergy symptoms.
How to Prevent and Manage Allergies?
The best way to prevent and manage allergies is to avoid or limit your exposure to the allergens that trigger your reaction. You can also take some steps to improve your immune system and reduce inflammation in your body.
Some of the tips to prevent and manage allergies are:
- Identify your allergens: You can do this by keeping a diary of your symptoms and exposure to different substances, or by undergoing an allergy test with your doctor.
- Avoid your allergens: You can do this by staying away from places or situations where you may encounter your allergens, or by using protective measures such as masks, gloves, air filters, or medication.
- Clean your environment: You can do this by removing dust, mold, pet dander, or other allergens from your home or workplace, or by washing your clothes, bedding, or dishes regularly.
- Eat a healthy diet: You can do this by consuming foods that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids that can boost your immune system and reduce inflammation in your body. You should also avoid foods that may trigger an allergic reaction, such as nuts, shellfish, eggs, or dairy products.
- Drink plenty of water: You can do this by staying hydrated and flushing out toxins and allergens from your body. Water can also help thin the mucus in your nose and sinuses and ease congestion.
- Exercise regularly: You can do this by engaging in physical activities that can improve your blood circulation, oxygen delivery, and lung function. Exercise can also help release endorphins that can improve your mood and reduce stress.
- Get enough sleep: You can do this by following a regular sleep schedule and creating a comfortable and dark environment for sleeping. Sleep can help restore your immune system and reduce inflammation in your body.
- Manage stress: You can do this by practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, or massage. Stress can worsen your allergy symptoms and lower your immune system.