Allergies vs. Cold

cold vs allergies

What’s the Difference Between Allergies and a Cold?

cold vs allergies
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In too many cases, when someone gets the sniffles, other people jump to the conclusion that they are contagious. However, there is a chance that the sniffles originate from something that is not contagious. People assume several symptoms such as sneezing, congestion, coughing are that of a cold, but they are also symptoms of allergies. It is important to differentiate the symptoms of a cold and allergies, so as to carry out the correct relief fast enough.

The Cold

A cold which is also referred to as the common cold is a virus. There are numerous various types of the cold virus, hence the symptoms may differ. In spite of this, colds basically have some general traits. The traits include:

  • Cold can be transmitted via the air through coughs and sneezes as well as by physical contact.
  • The most popular signs are a sore throat, coughing, as well as a runny, stuffy nose.
  • Some less popular signs include itchy eyes and sneezing.
  • Very intense colds can result in body aches and fevers.
  • Recovery from colds is usually rapid with the mean duration being 7 to 10 days.
  • Signs lingering longer than two weeks could mean that the cold has turned into an infection.
  • People with allergies have a higher chance of catching colds.

People can catch a cold any time of year, despite the name. Children are more prone to catching colds more often than adults due to their weaker immune system.


Allergies are caused by the immune system having more adverse reactions to particular substances. Once exposed to triggers, chemicals known as histamines are released by the immune system. Normally, the histamines are meant to fight off any intruders to the body but instead, their release is the actual cause of the allergy signs. There are some important facts about allergies:

  • Allergies have several symptoms which are alike to those of colds such as a sore throat, coughing, as well as a runny nose.
  • Postnasal drip caused by allergies usually results in a sore throat
  • Allergies may also result in itchy eyes and rashes
  • Allergies do not cause body aches and fevers

Seasonal allergies occur most frequently, however, some people are allergic to particular substances at any given time. Some of the substances that may trigger allergies include:

  • Pollen from herbs, grasses or trees
  • Dust mites
  • Foods like nuts, eggs, and milk
  • Mold
  • Animal dander

One of the ways to differentiate that you have allergies and not a cold is by checking the duration of the signs. Normally, the symptoms of allergies do not stop without first receiving treatment. Another way to stop the signs of allergies is by removing the original trigger that caused them to start.

Despite both the cold and allergies having several common symptoms, it is very important to distinguish the difference between them. This knowledge can assist in getting the correct treatment or using the correct natural remedies which can lead to one feeling better much faster.


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