woman sick

Is It a Cold or Allergies?

The symptoms of the common cold are extremely similar to allergy symptoms. We associate sneezing, irritated eyes, an itchy nose, coughing and congestion with the common cold but all are also common for allergies.

You don’t want to treat someone for the common could if they have allergies. Learn how to tell if you or someone is suffering from a cold or allergies:


– The common cold is a virus that is passed through the air and sometimes through touch. The virus is contagious whereas allergies are not.

– The average American has 2-3 cases of the cold each year whereas allergies can occur repeatedly throughout an entire year.

– A severe cold will sometimes lead to high body temperatures and fevers and aches and pains not often associated with allergies.

– A cold typically lasts no longer than 3-10 days total. You can treat a cold with medication and rest will help speed up the recovery whereas allergies are permanent.


– Allergies are an adverse reaction to various substances and materials in a home or environment.

– Common allergens found in homes are dust mites, pollen, dander and mold. Some Americans suffer from food allergies related to dairy and wheat.

– The body releases histamines to fight off allergens but the histamines are what lead to the coughing, sneezing and allergy symptoms.

– You will not experience a fever or body aches from allergies. If you are experiencing a fever you are suffering from a cold or another virus and not allergies.

The best indication as to whether you have allergies or a cold is whether you are suffering from a fever, body aches or a loss of appetite. These symptoms are related to the cold and viruses and not allergies.

If the symptoms persist for several days and there is no fever or aches then it is more likely that you are suffering from allergies.

If this is the case, you will need to find the triggers of the allergies in your home and do your best to remove them using HEPA filters, dehumidifiers and purchasing hypoallergenic products.