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What’s the difference between seasonal allergies and the common cold?

If you start feeling under the weather this spring, it's important to understand the difference between allergies and the common cold.

For some people – particularly those who develop allergies later on in their life – it can be difficult to tell the difference between a seasonal allergy and the common cold. In many cases, the symptoms are similar, so it's easy to become confused. 

Here's a quick look at some of the characteristics of these two afflictions: 

Common cold – You're more likely to suffer from this virus during the winter, states WebMD, although it can strike during any part of the year. Symptoms – which include a cough, aches, fatigue, a sore throat and a runny nose with yellow mucus – generally take a few days to appear and last for approximately three to 14 days.

Seasonal allergies – The most obvious distinction between a cold and allergies is that the latter won't resolve itself after a couple weeks. As long as you're exposed to the allergen and not actively working to prevent or treat a reaction, you'll continue to experience symptoms such as a cough, fatigue, itchy eyes, a sore throat and a runny nose with clear mucus.

If you've been feeling under the weather for a few weeks, it's a good idea to see an allergy specialist to determine whether or not you have seasonal allergies. If it turns out that you do, there are actions you can take to ensure that you co-exist comfortably with irritants such as pollen. You may want to consider investing in a whole house air purifier, which removes allergens directly from the air and makes it easier for you to breathe inside your home. If you spend a lot of time in your vehicle, a car cabin air filter can prevent pollutants from getting into the passenger compartment.

Related posts:

  1. How to determine whether symptoms are from a cold or allergies
  2. When cold weather is more than a nuisance
  3. Seasonal allergy sufferers should look for air quality alerts
  4. Alabama the latest state to control cold medication prescriptions
  5. Immunologist suggests healthy living builds immunity to seasonal allergies