Flourish: Is it an allergy or a cold?


Did you know that allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S.? Source: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

woman sneezing into a tissue

Is it an allergy or a cold? Five tips to tell the difference

Allergies are caused by an immune reaction to something in the environment — indoors or outdoors — such as grass, dust or pollen. Colds are caused by viruses and are easily spread. They both come with some of the same symptoms.

Here’s a quick list of some differences and similarities of allergies and colds to help you determine which you might have:

  1. Allergies can last months; colds usually last from three to 14 days

  2. Allergies can occur year-round; colds usually happen in the winter

  3. Allergy symptoms can start right after you’ve been in contact with a trigger; cold symptoms appear a few days after you’re infected

  4. Allergies and colds can both come with these symptoms: cough; runny, stuffy nose; sore throat and tiredness

  5. A fever isn’t a symptom of an allergy, but it can be a symptom of a cold

If you’re concerned that your symptoms are getting worse or they're lasting longer than a few weeks, talk with your healthcare provider.Source: Mayo Clinic Health System

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