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Discover How to Differentiate Between the Common Cold & Allergies

Discover How to Differentiate Between the Common Cold & Allergies

Have you ever been going throughout your day when you suddenly begin to feel run down with a headache and stuffy nose? You then start thinking if what you’re feeling is a cold or seasonal allergies. Something is clearly happening but you’re unsure what.

This blog will help you differentiate between the common cold and allergies. They can have very similar symptoms but there are some ways to easily identify the source of your discomfort.

Cold vs. Allergies

To be able to differentiate between the two, we must first understand the definition of the two so the symptoms make sense.

Colds are infections that affect your upper respiratory tract which consists of the sinuses, nasal passages, throat, and larynx. They’re caused by numerous mutated variants of viruses that get spread around from touching someone with a cold, an object an individual with a cold touched, or breathing in the air after a sneeze or cough.

Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever, occur when an individual’s immune system is affected by foreign contaminants like pollen, grasses, insects, pet dander/hair, mold, and many more.

The Type of Cough

Coughing is a pretty common symptom of both the cold and seasonal allergies. However, you can easily identify the reason based on the type of coughing you’re experiencing.

If the cough is producing phlegm, that is a good indicator that you are developing a cold. When experiencing seasonal allergies, you do not produce a cough that generates mucus or hacking. As opposed to the cold, allergies cause the mucus membranes to generate a clear watery-like liquid that drips down the back of the throat, this results in a drier cough.

Do You Have a Fever?

Allergies typically do not cause fevers. It can be confusing since it is called hay fever, but unlike the name suggests, a fever is not a symptom.

If you are experiencing a mild to moderate fever, that is the biggest indication that you have a cold and should rest/take medicine. Stay home as well to not spread the virus to others.

Itching and Watery Eyes

These symptoms are another clear indicator if you have a cold or an allergic reaction. A common cold does not cause any itching or watery eyes. Seasonal allergies can cause itching of the eyes, ears, nose, throat, and skin.

Contact Us Today if You Are Experiencing Seasonal Allergies

Here at Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Medical Group, our team of expert specialists can help you alleviate your symptoms of hay fever. Call us at 805-658-9500 to schedule an appointment or simply reach out to us on our Contact Page. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible!