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Allergies or Cold Symptoms? Signs to Look For

Are you sniffling, sneezing and coughing more than usual lately? Spring means allergy season has begun, but it also means the common cold is still going around. So how can you tell if you have a cold or a bad case of allergies? Knowing the answer to this question is crucial because it determines how you should best be treated.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, here are some signs you can look for to determine if you have allergies or a cold.

Runny Nose

A runny nose could be a sign of allergies or the common cold. The difference, however, lies in the appearance of the discharge. If your nose is running a clear discharge, it’s likely an allergy. If it’s yellow discharge, it could be a cold.

Itchy and Scratchy

If you have watery, itchy eyes, it’s probably allergies. If you have a sore and scratchy throat along with sneezing and coughing, it’s more likely a cold.

No Fever

A fever is a clear sign of a cold or flu, but not allergies. There is no fever with allergies.

Time of Year

You can suffer from allergies any time of year, but cold and flu season is most prominent in the wintertime.

Symptom Warning

Allergy symptoms can appear immediately after you are exposed to allergens. Cold and flu symptoms, on the other hand, can take a few days to set in.

Symptom Duration

Allergy symptoms can last a long time, especially if the allergen is present all year long. Contrary to this, cold and flu symptoms should clear up within a few days to a week.

The common cold is caused by a virus. If you come into direct contact with an infected person, you could get a cold. Allergies, on the other hand, are caused by exposure to an allergen, which can cause your nasal cavity, sinuses, upper airways and other body parts to become inflamed. Indoor and outdoor allergies are commonly caused by trees, grass and weed pollen, dust mites, animal dander, mold and cockroaches.

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