Dr. Douglas Dedo, MD

4 Ways to Tell the Difference Between a Cold and Allergies

cold and allergies

Can’t Tell Whether it’s a Cold or Allergies?

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that nasal allergies affect roughly 50 million people in the United States. From pollen particles to dust mites, nasal irritants are everywhere. People who live with allergies are reminded of this annoying fact every spring. If you are sick of experiencing allergy symptoms, or are unsure whether you are simply getting sick, contact an ear nose and throat doctor today. In the meantime, here are a few ways to tell the difference between a cold and allergies.

  1. SeasonalityEven though winter seems to be the season for catching colds, it doesn’t necessarily mean that colds are tethered to winter. While catching a cold is more likely in the winter, it is because more people spend more time indoors. This leaves more room for germs to spread. Allergies, on the other hand, can be seasonal in a more direct way. Pollen, dust mites, and mold are much more common in the warmer seasons. If you find yourself having cold-like symptoms in the spring, it might be allergies instead.
  2. Itchy Eyes and ThroatThese two symptoms typify allergies. While colds can cause these things too, an allergy is more likely to cause topical irritation in these areas. A sinus infection will trigger much more pressure and can relate to either a cold or allergies. If you suffer from sinusitis, your best bet is talking to an ear nose and throat specialist for a proper diagnosis.
  3. How do you feel?If you feel feverish or achy, you probably have a cold. Allergies don’t cause full body pains or fevers since they involve topical irritation. If you have all of the typical cold symptoms but not achiness or fever, you probably have allergies.
  4. TriggersDo you notice that every time you’re at Susan’s house you sneeze? Well, if she has cats or dogs, you might be allergic to them. Animals, food, certain soaps, and even some fabrics can give an allergic reaction. Learn your triggers so you know when you’re having a reaction.

Telling the difference between allergies and a cold isn’t always easy. If you follow the above guidelines, though, you can tell which ailment is affecting you most of the time. If you are still unsure or would simply like your symptoms to stop, contact a Palm Beach ear nose and throat specialist today.