Do I Have A Cold Or An Allergy – How To Know The Difference?

There are many people who dread the changing seasons because of allergies and colds. Changing in weather affects almost all of us but the person who already is suffering from any disease or allergy; it is easy for a disease to attack him back. So, try to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy and safe from any kind of disease.

What do you think what is the difference between cold and allergy? Do you have any idea? It is a bit difficult to understand the difference between cold and allergy!

This is because both of these diseases have the same symptoms, such as sneezing, running nose, coughing, and congestion. All of these are the symptoms of cold and are also signs of allergic reactions.

But the question is still here that how can we differentiate between both of these. Let us discuss some points and then make a difference between both problems. So, that next time any of these symptoms are appearing, you will know that what is going on with your body. Or what kind of treatment will you need right away!

Here you go:


What is cold and what are its causes? Cold is caused by various viruses and it has some basic symptoms:

  • Runny and stuffy nose
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Headache and body aches
  • Fevers

If you are facing these symptoms from a week then you are suffering from cold. If it takes more than 10 days then it becomes a serious infection called pneumonia or bronchitis.


What are allergies and how do allergies spread?

Allergies have different types like skin allergy, rashes, food allergy, drug allergy, pollen allergy etc. When your immune system has the opposing reaction, allergies occur.

  • There are some symptoms of allergies:
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion

All of the above also are the symptoms of cold likewise.

Allergy triggers:

There are many allergens which can become a cause of allergy such as:

  • Mold
  • Dust Mites
  • Some kind of food
  • Animal saliva

Differences between both diseases:

With some common properties, there are some differences between cold and allergies.

Different symptoms:

Allergy Testing and Treatment center – LondonAllergy have said that colds and allergies have the same symptoms, it may be difficult to tell the difference between them.

There are some symptoms which can differentiate these diseases when we compare them to each other.

Colds have some different symptoms as well, like

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Aches and pains
  • Fatigue

Now if we talk about allergies, then there are some changed symptoms as well:

  • Skin rashes, such as hives or eczema
  • Wheezing
  • Itchy eyes

In cold, you will face fever, aches, and pains but in an allergic reaction, these things might not appear. Watery and itchy eyes are clear signs of an allergic reaction.

Appearing of symptoms:

You can tell a clear difference between these diseases on the base of appearing of symptoms as well. If symptoms are appearing in two or three days then you are suffering from cold. When symptoms are appearing suddenly and out of nowhere then it surely is an allergic reaction. This is making a difference that how much time the symptoms are taking to appear?


You can differentiate between both of them by the causes.

Cold is basically caused by a virus and we can call it a viral infection. If we talk about allergies, then the allergies are not spreading with any virus. There are allergy triggers in our environment and if the triggers are somewhere around you then you surely will suffer from an allergic reaction. These allergens are treated by your immune system as attackers.

About time difference:

The first change between both of them is the difference in time. This time change difference may make you able to differentiate between the cold and allergy. We face cold in the winter season and it comes down in spring and summer.

If we talk about the best time to spread allergies or to fall prey to any kind of allergic reaction then we can say it is spring. Yeah, we know that you can face allergies at any time of the year but pollen allergies can easily spread in spring. Grass allergies can affect you in spring and summer too and ragweed allergies can affect you by late summer and fall.


We have another way to make a difference between both diseases by keeping a check on the duration of symptoms. If you get better within a week then it is cold.

If your symptoms are not ready to go away and they are still affecting you then it will be an allergic reaction. This is due to the fact that the allergy will never leave you unless you are getting the specific treatment for it. If you have seasonal allergies then it will take two or three weeks to go away.


Now you are aware of the factors with which you can easily differentiate between cold and allergy. Even if you are getting the common symptoms, you are now able to get an idea that what is the main thing which has caused you these symptoms.

After knowing that exact cause, what are you going to do?

Well, if that is a cold which is causing you severe problems then you should consult your physician and get the specific treatment for it.

Or, if it is caused by the allergens, then you should go for the concerned physician who can treat you with your allergic reaction.

It is all dependent upon how you are treating the specific thing, your reaction to it will decide how much sooner you can get rid of it.

So, whenever you are seeing the above-mentioned symptoms, you should not think twice and get the treatment right away!

You can easily get rid of it when you will get and follow the proper treatment plan.


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