You’ve been blowing your nose for days – but is a cold or are allergies to blame? Colds and allergies share a lot of the same symptoms. In fact, the two are so similar it’s sometimes even a challenge for doctors to tell the difference. However, there are a few key things that set them apart.
Signs it may be a cold
There are more than 200 cold viruses – all with their own symptoms. However, here are some of the most common:
- Body aches and pains
- Thick mucus that is yellow or green
Signs it might be allergies
Allergies affect people of all ages and can start at any age. Watch for these symptoms:
- Runny nose with clear, watery mucus
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Skin rash
One thing that really sets colds apart from allergies is that colds tend to resolve within 7-10 days. If you have symptoms beyond that time frame, it’s a good idea to check with your primary care provider. He or she can determine what steps to take next.
People are often surprised to learn allergies are to blame for their symptoms. That’s because many people believe allergies only affect people during the spring and fall seasons. But they can act up throughout the year – it depends on what allergens are causing your reaction. For example, mold can cause symptoms year round since it can grow indoors.
Edward-Elmhurst Health is committed to helping people achieve their best health. If you have cold or allergy symptoms, our primary care providers can provide allergy testing or refer you to an allergist for further blood work, skin testing and treatment.