Tools and Resources
Cold or allergy: Which is it?
I seem to get a cold every spring and fall. I'm wondering if these "colds" are really seasonal allergies. How can I tell?
If you tend to get "colds" that develop suddenly and occur at the same time every year, it's possible that you actually have seasonal allergies. Although colds and seasonal allergies may share some of the same symptoms, they are very different diseases.
Common colds are caused by viruses, while seasonal allergies are immune system responses triggered by exposure to an allergen. Treatment of a common cold may include rest, pain relievers and over-the-counter cold remedies, such as decongestants. Treatment of seasonal allergies may include over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays and decongestants, and avoidance of exposure to allergens where possible.
|Symptom check: Is it a cold or allergy?|
|General aches and pains||Sometimes||Never|
Adapted from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 2008
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