No one wants to get sick, to say the least. While something with the name “the common cold” may not sound like much of a threat, if you have had a cold, you know it can still be a miserable experience.

From sniffling to trouble sleeping to a sore throat, the symptoms from a cold are still something that can interrupt your life and make you feel pretty crummy.

At this time of year, however, identifying a common cold can be a bit tricky. With pollen floating through the air and different plants and flowers in bloom, it is every bit as likely that symptoms are from seasonal allergies as they are a cold—plus, with COVID-19 still being prevalent, that is a concern as well. So, how can you tell the difference and get relief?

Symptoms Shared by Allergies and Colds

Part of the reason why it is so difficult to tell the difference between allergies and a cold is because of the symptoms both afflictions share, including:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Watery eyes

In addition to sharing symptoms between themselves, both allergies and colds also share these symptoms with COVID-19—so if you are unsure about what is causing your affliction, it is best to start with a COVID-19 test just to be safe.

Symptoms That Differ Between Allergies and Colds

Symptoms Caused by Allergies

The pollen that causes allergies can also irritate our eyes, so if yours are itchy, red and watering, this likely means it is allergies and not a cold. Additionally, allergy symptoms typically stay the same, while cold symptoms can fluctuate and vary from hour to hour. Finally, if you have a stuffy nose or congestion, the mucus caused by these symptoms will typically be clear or light-colored if they are allergy-related.

Symptoms Caused by Colds

While every cold is different, many common colds will cause achiness and pains in the body and a general sense of fatigue, which is not typically indicative of allergies. Severe colds can also cause headaches or fevers, which can be a clear sign that allergies are not the culprit. The average duration of colds is also shorter, lasting between seven and 10 days on average, while allergies can resolve rapidly or drag on for weeks at a time.

If you need help treating a cold or allergies, we are here for you! Come see us today to shop our over-the-counter medications or chat with a pharmacist.