Is it a Common Cold or Allergies?

| April 20, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

Now that the weather is getting warmer and people are starting to get out more, it is hard to tell sometimes whether that sniffling and general blah feeling you’ve been experiencing is due to more human contact or the pollen that’s starting to blow around. Figuring out whether you have allergies or some type of illness can be difficult. Knowing the difference can help with treatment and get you back among the living much quicker.

Some of the more common characteristics of allergies are:

  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Excessive phlegm
  • Stuffy head
  • Sinus pressure
  • Cough
  • Itchy, watery eyes

While a lot of the characteristics of the common cold are similar, they can also include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • General malaise

Of course you can have all, none, or some of the symptoms listed above with either allergies or the common cold. Everyone is different and every case is unique in itself.

The differences are mostly within the onset of symptoms and how long symptoms last. Colds seem to come on suddenly with a sore throat and fatigue and last the duration of the virus’s life cycle which is usually 3 weeks or so. Allergy symptoms appear when an allergen is present and will not go away until the allergen is gone unless they are treated. Avoiding known allergens can help keep symptoms away.

Contact your health care provider to find out more about allergies vs. colds this spring. If you are diagnosed with allergies, contact your health insurance carrier for a list of allergy specialists within your network that are located in your area. Your allergist can run tests to find out what exactly you are allergic to and prescribe a treatment plan to help alleviate symptoms. We hope you feel better this spring!