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Cold vs Allergy?

Updated: May 9, 2020

Do I have a cold or are my allergies acting up?


Common colds, caused by a virus, can appear very similarly to seasonal allergies, which are caused by environmental allergens. Let’s discuss some of the differences that might help in making a determination for which condition we are suffering from.


There are a few different ways we can differentiate between a cold or a seasonal allergy. There are 4 considerations that can be used to determine the difference. Those are Duration, Mucus, Sneezing, and Itchy Eyes. A cold usually does not last longer than 14 days, whereas seasonal allergies can last…..the whole season! Also, our mucus will normally present differently between the two. With colds, our mucus tends to be thicker and yellowy, but with allergies, it’s more of a clear thin mucus. Allergy sufferers do tend to sneeze more than cold sufferers and also when sneezing, it’s very common to sneeze in rapid succession (multiple sneezes back to back). Finally, if the eyes are involved, whether, runny, itchy or both, a seasonal allergy usually is the culprit.


Different causes and similar symptoms lead to much confusion and many people searching for answers. Let’s look for those answers together as we explore treatment options in my next post.

If I can add, as we discuss this topic and more, please be aware that you should always consult a physician to be sure which condition you have.





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