Is It Really Easy to Identify Between Cold or Allergies?


If you are sneezing, coughing, or having a runny nose and sore throat, is it cold or allergy? If you are not able to recognize the right one, don’t worry, you are not the only one out there. It’s very easy to get confused between the two. Whether it’s cold or allergies, with the help of this post, you can differentiate between the two and can learn about the exact method to deter the actual problem. So, without wasting much time, understand cold vs allergies, and what are its symptoms.

What is Cold?

Also known as a common cold, it is caused by a virus. Different types of viruses are responsible for spreading the cold. When the virus attacks the body, and our immune system sends the white blood cells to fight these foreign particles. One feels the cold symptoms when the white blood cells respond to the virus. Cold is an airborne infectious disease as you can catch a cold when an infected cough, sneeze, or touch you. 

either cold or allergies


Read some of the key characteristics of the common cold

  • The average duration of the cold is between 7 to 10 days;
  • Its symptoms include stuffy nose and sore throat;
  • If the symptoms of cold last for more than a week or two, then there might be chances of serious infections and pneumonia;
  • People with allergies have more probability for cold;
  • It is generally transferred when the infected person sneezes or coughs.

Just because cold is named cold, it doesn’t mean that it won’t happen in summer or other seasons. The study of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that, on sn average, a healthy adult can catch a cold twice or thrice in a year. The chances get high in young children as they tend to have a low immune system. 

Symptoms of Cold

Nasal Symptoms

  • congestion
  • loss of smell or taste
  • postnasal drip or drainage in the back of your throat
  • runny nose
  • stuffy nose
  • sinus pressure
  • sneezing
  • watery nasal secretions

Head Symptoms include:

Whole Body signs

  • body aches
  • chills
  • chest discomfort
  • difficulty breathing deeply
  • fatigue or general tiredness
  • low-grade fever

Also Read: Life After Three Level Cervical Fusion Surgery. Tips on How to Prevent Complications

What are Allergies?

Allergies are considered as the reactions of the immune system against the substances that have either entered or come into contact with the body. These foreign substances can be bee venom, pet dander, or pollen. Allergy is caused by the reaction named an allergen. It can be found in food, environment, or drinks. Allergies are not infectious in nature. Wondering, what are the allergy symptoms?



Before moving further, make sure to read some facts on allergies in the coming reading:

  • Anaphylaxis is such a severe allergy problem that it can be life-threatening
  • Some allergies can cause vomiting, sneezing, peeling skin, and acne
  • It can be treated with drugs and requires desensitization
  • Generally, it is diagnosed by the blood sample

Symptoms of Allergies

Pollen and Dust

  • swollen and watery eyes
  • runny nose
  • itchy eyes and nose
  • cough
  • blocked nose


  • diarrhea
  • itchiness in the mouth
  • rectal bleeding, mainly in children
  • shortness of breath
  • stomach cramps
  • swelling of the lips, face, and throat
  • swollen tongue
  • tingling in the mouth
  • vomiting


  • itchiness
  • possible anaphylaxis
  • skin rash
  • swollen tongue, lips, and face
  • wheezing

Insect stings

  • anxiety
  • cough
  • chest tightness
  • dizziness
  • hives, a red and very itchy rash that spreads across the body
  • itchy skin
  • possible anaphylaxis
  • restlessness
  • shortness of breath
  • swelling at the site of the sting
  • The sudden drop in blood pressure 
  • wheezing

Anaphylaxis is a common yet serious allergy, let’s have a look at its symptoms

  • a burning sensation
  • a possible blue tint to the skin from lack of oxygen
  • a runny nose
  • a drop in blood pressure that can speed up or slow down the heart rate
  • abdominal cramps
  • coronary artery spasm
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness and fainting
  • hives all over the body, flushing, and itchiness
  • hoarseness
  • loss of bladder control
  • low blood pressure leading to high or low heart rate
  • pain when swallowing
  • pelvic pain similar to uterine cramps
  • shortness of breath and wheezing
  • swelling of the tongue and throat.
  • swollen tissues
  • vomiting

After knowing about all the symptoms, let’s learn about the difference between allergy and cold.




How fast or quickly the symptoms appear?

Usually, cold symptoms appear one at a time and slowly develop in a few days, while allergy symptoms appear all at once when one comes into contact with an allergen. 

What is the duration period of cold and allergy?

Generally, a cold lasts between 7-10 days and if it lasts longer than the average period, then you should contact the doctor. Allergy symptoms last for weeks or months, and in the worst cases, it remains one exposed to the allergen.  

What will be the texture and color of mucus?

With the texture and color of mucus, you can identify the right problem. In the case of cold, mucus is green or yellow and thick in texture. The yellow color indicates that you require medical help while in case of allergy, the mucus will be apparent, watery, and thin. 

What time of the year it is?

The common cold generally occurs in winter and sometimes summer; as such, there is no specific season for it. Allergy can occur anytime in the year, but the outdoor allergy mostly occurs during the spring season due to the high amount of pollen outside. 

Characteristics Allergies Common cold
How long it last Weeks to months 7-10 days
When can it happen Mostly in winter, but can appear anytime Any time of the year
Symptoms appearance Symptoms appear suddenly Take some days to appear
Symptoms Allergies Common cold
Aches Never Sometimes
Fever Never Very fewer chances
Itchy, watery eyes Often Very fewer chances
Stuffy nose Often Often
Cough sometimes Often
Fatigue may or may not may or may not
Sore throat Sometimes Often

Take care

Whether it’s cold or allergies, you should not wait till the situation becomes worse. Knowing which one you have can help to take several home remedies without experimenting with anything else. If the symptoms last a longer period, then it’s better to see a doctor. For all the health problems and solutions, HealthClubFinder is the final destination.

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