OCT 25, 2017 03:48 PM PDT

Cold, Flu, or Allergy?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham
3 2 200

Gesundheit! You've got the sniffles and the sneezes, but are they symptoms of a cold or an allergy? It can be hard to tell since the usual symptoms, such as congestion and coughing, are common to both types of ailments.

One way to discern the difference is to pay attention to symptoms that are unique to either a cold or allergies. For example, fevers and body aches are not associated with allergies, so if you experience these symptoms, it's likely that you're battling a cold. Similarly, rashes and itchy eyes are less common symptoms of a cold, and point to allergies.

Another way to differentiate between a cold and allergies is to look around you. Are the people around you also have similar symptoms? If so, a cold could be more likely, since the virus can be easily transmitted through the air. If your symptoms happen to coincide with seasonal changes, you may have a case of seasonal allergies, and may have to endure it until the allergen is gone.

Whether it's a cold or allergies, if you're not feeling well for an extended period of time, it's best to book an appointment with your doctor.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
JUN 04, 2018
Videos
JUN 04, 2018
The trick to surviving quicksand
Getting stuck in quicksand really isn't the way you want to go. But here are some tricks you should know in case you ever find yourself in a stick
JUN 14, 2018
Health & Medicine
JUN 14, 2018
Beware of Hotel Room Germs
Recently the CDC came out with a study that showed nearly 1/3 of swimming-related illnesses from 2000-2014 could be traced back to pathogens found in hotel
JUN 21, 2018
Videos
JUN 21, 2018
How does a ladybug fold up all its wings?
  When was the last time you really looked close at a ladybug? Probably when you were a kid, right? Well, it's time to take another look. Scientis
JUN 30, 2018
Videos
JUN 30, 2018
First US Case of Bubonic Plague in 26 Years is Reported
It's not known exactly where the patient contracted the disease, but it was either Idaho or Oregon.
JUL 02, 2018
Videos
JUL 02, 2018
Veterans, PTSD, and Fireworks: What to Know
It’s almost Independence Day and while there will be fireworks displays, sparklers and other pyrotechnics for the holiday, what many people don&rsquo
JUL 17, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
JUL 17, 2018
Ammonia the Next Renewable Fuel?
The most obvious drawback of renewable energy such as solar and wind energy is that their production lacks continuity. A solution is to convert the electri
Loading Comments...