How to tell the difference between allergies, cold and flu


Studies show that a lot of people cannot tell the difference between cold, flu or allergy attack. Although symptoms can be somewhat similar but there are differences from which we can tell these apart. This is important as we need to make the right decisions in times like this.


Here’s some of the indicators:

Runny nose

Cough, sneezing and runny nose are usually symptoms of cold or flu. But, if the secretion is yellow, then most likely a cold is in question. Allergies also cause runny nose, but the secretion in this case has no color.

Itchy eyes

If cough and sneezes are followed by itchy eyes which are red and full with tears, it’s most probably allergies in question. Cold does not cause itchy eyes, so this is one of the safest way to distinguish cold against allergy attack.

Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath can be a symptom both for cold or flu. Also, chest wheezing and loss of air are a common symptom of respiratory system diseases, which include asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. These symptoms can be a sign of infection of lower respiratory paths like bronchitis and pneumonia. This is in fact inflammation of the lungs

High fever

If you have increased body temperature it’s most likely cold in question. Allergies don’t usually cause fevers or heightened body temperature.

Symptoms which don’t go away in the short term

Allergic symptoms can be present for as long you are exposed to these allergens. Usually the symptoms of cold go away after 7 days, but this is not the case with allergies.

Symptoms which show in particular time of the year

If you have symptoms which show only during spring or fall, this is definitely a sign of allergies. One of the most recognizable symptoms of allergies. These specific conditions always make allergies come back, whether it’s you being allergic to animal hairs or dust or anything for that matter. Cold and the flu tend to strike in the winter.

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