How Do You Know If It’s Allergies or a Cold?

How Do You Know If It’s Allergies or a Cold?

Both allergies and a cold can develop during any time of the year. But there is a way that you can tell if you’re dealing with one or the other. First, if you have a cold, you should know that it takes a virus to create the symptoms of a cold – and that common antibiotics won’t cure a cold and it won’t keep you from giving the virus to other people, either.

But here are some ways that you can tell if what you have is an allergy or a cold. The length of time that you’ll deal with a cold will vary from three or four days to two weeks, while the allergy will stick around as long as you’re around whatever it is that’s triggering the allergy.

When you get symptoms can also be a clue. The cold season is usually around when the temperatures drop outside. October through February are usually the peak months for getting a cold, while allergies aren’t limited by seasons.

You may notice that your symptoms get worse during certain times of the year – like during spring when there’s all the pollen in the air. Exposure to the cold virus causes a cold to begin within a few days of exposure, but exposure to an allergen can cause a reaction to happen right away.

When you have a cold, there’s more often than not a cough present. However, there can be a cough present with certain allergies, too. If you have a cold, your body might feel achy – but an allergy won’t make your body feel achy.

Both a cold and an allergy can trigger fatigue and make you feel more tired than usual. Though some people associate having a fever with a cold, most colds aren’t associated with a fever.

Though you may have a slight rise in body temperature, it’s not considered a fever unless it’s over 100 degrees. Someone who is suffering from an allergy doesn’t develop a fever. With an allergy, your eyes might water and feel itchy, but with a cold, you won’t have that symptom.

But a cold and an allergy can both cause you to have a sore throat. A cold gives you a sore throat because of the virus, while an allergy gives you a sore throat because of post-nasal drip. You can have a runny nose with either a cold or allergies, but the difference in the two is that with a cold, the discharge won’t be clear and with an allergy, it will be.

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