OCT 25, 2017 3:48 PM PDT

Cold, Flu, or Allergy?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

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
AUG 06, 2020
Plants & Animals
Swine Fever Threatens Critically Endangered Indian Hogs
AUG 06, 2020
Swine Fever Threatens Critically Endangered Indian Hogs
The Associated Press reports that the world's smallest and rarest wild pig species is undergoing its own virus lockd ...
AUG 13, 2020
Plants & Animals
Study Confirms Nutrient Transport in Pregnant Male Seahorses
AUG 13, 2020
Study Confirms Nutrient Transport in Pregnant Male Seahorses
Seahorses are some of the most extraordinary fish in the ocean, and one of their most noteworthy features is male pregna ...
AUG 24, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Asteroid May Collide With Earth in November
AUG 24, 2020
Asteroid May Collide With Earth in November
NASA has said that an asteroid known as 2018VP1 is heading towards Earth, and may potentially collide with our planet on ...
SEP 08, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Reusable Chinese Space Craft Lands Returns Earth
SEP 08, 2020
Reusable Chinese Space Craft Lands Returns Earth
The Chinese government has announced the safe return of a reusable spacecraft, called Chongfu Shiyong Shiyan Hangtian Qi ...
SEP 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
What the Sun's New Weather Cycle Means for Earth
SEP 17, 2020
What the Sun's New Weather Cycle Means for Earth
Scientists have confirmed that the sun is nine months into a new solar cycle, and that this 11-year cycle will resemble ...
SEP 24, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Turning Pulsars into Deep Space Beacons
SEP 24, 2020
Turning Pulsars into Deep Space Beacons
Navigating beyond Earth's orbit is tricky. Any misstep in movement could lead to the crushes of space probes and ves ...
Loading Comments...