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Northbrook IL area specialists identify if allergy or common cold is to blame for symptoms

Northbrook IL area specialist, Dr. Noga Askenazi identify if allergy or common cold is to blame for symptoms
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he National Institutes of Health estimates about 80 percent of asthmatics have allergies. Asthma may be triggered by respiratory infections like the common cold. The similarities between allergies and the common cold don’t end there.

As with allergies, when you have a cold you may feel fatigued and frequently have a runny or stuffy nose. Similar symptoms make it difficult to determine whether you have allergies or are suffering from “just a cold.”

Here are some signs that your “cold” may be your body’s response to allergens in your environment:

  • Are your eyes itchy, watery? A cold rarely causes these symptoms.
  • If have body aches and are feverish, you can probably rule out allergies.
  • If your mucus is clear, thin, and watery, you may be allergic.
  • Have you had symptoms for longer than two weeks? See Drs. Noga Askenazi, and Eugenia Hahn, because most colds last only three to 14 days.
  • If you notice the “cold” comes around each spring or fall, you may be allergic to pollen, as plants pollinate during these times, and cold symptoms are usually associated with winter.

Since the causes of colds and allergies are not the same, prevention and treatment also differs. Hundreds of different viruses passed through the air or on contact with an infected person can cause colds. After a few weeks, your immune system fights off the virus.

Since allergies are caused by an overactive immune system mistaking harmless substances as germs, symptoms last as long as you are exposed to that allergen, which commonly includes dust mites, pollen and mold spores. As your body overreacts to these substances, it releases histamine, the same chemical released as your body fights a cold virus.

With allergies, symptoms may happen at once, making you feel miserable. With the common cold, symptoms may cycle from sneezing to coughing to congestion.


Exercise avoidance for both colds and allergies. For example, keep your distance from others with cold symptoms and maintain good hand-washing hygiene to avoid the spread of disease.

For allergies, Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois can help identify the culprit, so you can avoid exposure to the irritating substance.

There is no cure for allergies or the common cold, but Drs. Askenazi, and Hahn can help ease your symptoms with antihistamines to block the effects of those chemicals released as your body fights the viruses or allergens.

With allergies, immunotherapy involves exposing the body to a small, gradually increasing amount of the trigger substance to help your immune system develop a tolerance to the allergen.

For a cold, all you may need is plenty of rest and fluids, and possibly over the counter medications. If you are unsure whether you have an allergy or a common cold near Northbrook IL, call our office at 847 888 8802 to schedule an appointment. The sooner our specialists identify what is causing your symptoms, the better you will feel. You will also prevent other conditions, such as sinus or middle ear infections, caused by untreated colds or nasal allergies.

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Dr. Noga Askenazi, Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates

Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates

Dr. Noga Askenazi | Dr. Eugenia Hahn | Meredith Cirrincione

Dr. Noga Askenazi is a nationally recognized asthma and allergy specialist who is board certified in pediatric and adult allergy. Her areas of special interest are innovative treatment of rashes, sinusitis, food allergies, asthma and immune disorders. She was past President of the ISAAI (Illinois Society of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology), works on state and national committees for advancement of the allergy field and is a consultant for Advocate, AMITA, Northwestern amongst other health care systems. Her joy is helping patients reach their goals after together determining best treatments. Her staff and patients are a chosen family, and she invests in their happiness. She enjoys gardening, biking and cooking to good music.

Dr. Eugenia Hahn is a highly recognized board certified allergist and immunologist who treats patients of all ages. Her areas of special interest are food allergy, eczema, and asthma. She is president of the Illinois Society of Allergy & Asthma, a National Committee leader of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, a member of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology working on new treatment options for patients. She is a consultant for Advocate, Northwestern, AMITA, Northwest Community healthcare systems amongst many others. Her patients mean everything to her as she takes pride in finding the why behind the problem. She enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Meredith Cirrincione is a board certified Physician Assistant and specializes in treating allergies, with a focus on asthma, rashes, environmental allergies, chemical and food allergies. She holds a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from The Chicago Medical School - Rosalind Franklin University of Health Sciences. She is a Fellow member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Association of PAs in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. She likes to approach things holistically. She is a strong patient advocate and adored by her patients. She enjoys singing, reading, cooking, and the great outdoors.