Cold or Allergies?

When a runny nose, cough, and fatigue sneak up on you, it can be hard to pinpoint the root cause of your ailments. Before reaching for the medicine cabinet, however, it is important to determine whether your sniffles are the result of seasonal allergies or a common cold. While the only way to know for sure is to visit a local clinic and ask the doctors, this brief guide will help you get a better idea of what has you feeling so under the weather lately.

  • What color is your mucus? The next time you blow your nose, take a peek inside of the tissue. If the mucus is thin and clear, you likely have allergies or are in the early phases of a cold. Keep an eye out for thick, yellow, or green mucus, as this is a symptom of an upper respiratory infection.
  • Are your eyes itchy? If you have watery, itchy eyes, you most likely have allergies. If your symptoms seem more severe and you are concerned you may have pink eye, visit a medical clinic near you to get checked.
  • Do you have body aches? General body aches and swollen glands, as well as a fever, are symptoms of a cold virus. A sore throat is usually associated with a cold as well.
  • What time of year is it? If you start experiencing your symptoms in the onset of spring or summer, you might just have seasonal allergies. Allergies are triggered through exposure to environmental elements like pollen, and so they are usually associated with warmer weather. The common cold is much more likely during the colder months. Be sure to check your symptoms, or visit a doctor, to be sure.
  • How quickly did your symptoms start? Seasonal allergies generally hit more quickly and last longer. Colds usually develop more slowly and last for three to 14 days on average.

Unfortunately, it’s perfectly possible to suffer from seasonal allergies and have a cold at the same time. Go to your local urgent care place, and they’ll be able to figure out the best way to help you get better.