At a glance, the symptoms of a cold and allergy appear similar. You’ll have a runny nose, nasal congestion, coughing, sneezing, post-nasal drip, conjunctivitis and a sore throat. But there are distinct differences, particularly when it comes to cause and treatment plan. So how do you know if you’ve caught a cold or if it’s just your allergies acting up?
Cold symptoms typically last between seven and 10 days, while allergy symptoms can last much longer – several weeks in fact if the allergen remains in the air. Allergy symptoms, however, usually come and go during a particular season or environment. If your nose suddenly starts to run while you’re out hiking, you’re probably displaying symptoms of an allergy to the grass you’re walking through.
Symptoms of a cold typically develop over a few days, starting with a phase of sneezing and lots of clear nasal secretions. This is usually followed by a thick nasal secretion phase and blocked nose, which is often accompanied by tiredness, sore throat, fatigue and fever.
Nasal allergies tend to follow a similar pattern in different individuals − for example you will start sneezing. Symptoms will change depending on what allergen you’ve been exposed to − for example being outdoors, time of year, pet exposure and so on.
Ask yourself these questions:
Read more Health24, 7 August 2017