How to Tell Colds From Allergies

How to Tell Colds from AllergiesWoman Blowing Her Nose
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay – Mojpe

Colds and allergies can be confusing to tell apart since many of the symptoms can be similar. However, colds are caused by viral infections. Allergies, on the other hand, are caused from the immune system acting up from common substances that the body sees as a threat. However, if you are constantly battling sniffles and the like, then there are some simple ways to tell colds apart from allergies according to medical experts.

Nasal stuffiness, sneezing, scratchy sore throat, post nasal drip, coughing, watery, bloodshot eyes, headaches, and/or a runny nose can be a symptom of both colds and allergies. Generally speaking for colds, you can also count on additional symptoms such as a fever, aching muscles and yellow nasal discharge whereas only clear mucus from allergies. Your skin can also be affected with eczema with allergies, which doesn’t happen with colds.

If you are suffering with what you believe is a prolonged cold now for the past several weeks, chances are you may be feeling the effects of a ragweed allergy. Typically allergies can last weeks, a season or even an entire year such as with perennial allergic rhinitis while colds usually persist for about five to ten days. With all the rain we’ve been having, the severity and length of its growing season helped also by the warmer weather is worse than ever for those of us it bothers. Antihistamines and nasal sprays can help through this period to get through this high pollen count, but real relief for a ragweed allergy comes with the first frost.

Autumn and winter are also the time we are indoors more, which accounts for another breathing problem. Our furnaces keep recirculating the air that we’re exposed to. The problem is viruses do well in low temperatures. They could have found a way home with you and can be multiplying in that air to bring on a cold.

In the event of a cold, you can always turn to ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help reduce a low-grade fever and muscle aches. To relieve a sore throat, you may want to try an old folk medicine remedy of one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of warm water every two hours. Gargle and then swallow.  In fact, there have been studies that demonstrate its antimicrobial powers for dealing with strep as well. You may be skeptical of the apple cider vinegar cure for a sore throat, but I personally use it all the time to relieve that scratchy feeling to painful redness.  Try my apple cider vinegar drink and see how well it works.

Whatever form of discomfort, colds and allergies are not something to take lightly. The information here is not meant to diagnose or treat, but just to give you some beneficial tips to explain and possibly end that pain. If you’re still miserable, then I hope you visit your physician or allergist for more answers from a thorough examination.



  1. tat2gurlzrock
    September 12, 2019 / 9:09 am

    I suffer from allergies so I think this is a really helpful post. I checked out the other link too. Great info!

  2. gloria patterson
    September 12, 2019 / 12:42 pm

    Lot of good information here. I am one of the lucky people I don’t have any allergies. But my sister and mother both have allergies and it drives them nuts. Which is it cold/allergie

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