Is It a Cold or an Allergy?

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If you’re suffering from a runny nose, a stuffy nose or sneezing, you might be wondering whether the symptoms plaguing you stem from a cold or allergies. Although the two have similarities, there are also some clear differences between these ailments that can make you feel tired and miserable.

A cold generally lasts from three days to two weeks, a much shorter time than seasonal allergies would affect you.

Dr. Joseph Allen, Family Medicine of Vandalia, says, “The easiest way to tell the difference is probably fever. If you have a fever, it’s likely a cold, whether it’s viral or bacterial.” Dr. Allen discusses the differences between allergies and respiratory illnesses, such as colds.

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In addition to a runny or stuffy nose, cold symptoms often include a sore throat, cough and sometimes achiness and watery eyes. Occasionally a fever also accompanies a cold, says the National Institutes of Health. A cold generally lasts from three days to two weeks, a much shorter time than seasonal allergies would affect you.

Treatment for colds generally includes getting rest and drinking plenty of fluids. Colds are contagious, so the best way to prevent them is to wash your hands frequently and avoid close contact with someone who has a cold.

Is It A Cold Or Allergies - In ContentAllergies are more likely to cause itchy eyes and nose. Discharge from your nose is generally clear and any soreness in your throat is most likely from drainage. Allergies last for weeks at a time, triggered by pollens or other allergens in the air. Staying indoors more frequently during heavy allergy season, changing your air conditioner filter monthly, and taking decongestants or antihistamines recommended by your doctor all are ways to lessen allergy misery.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.

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