Do I Have a Cold or Seasonal Allergies?

What Is a Cold? Unlike seasonal allergies, a common cold is caused by a virus. Most viruses, like a common cold, are passed along from one person to another through both droplets in the air and touching a surface that might have been touched prior by a person who was sick with a cold. Common symptoms of a cold include coughing, sneezing, sore throat, stuffy nose, headaches, fevers and/or body aches.

Treatment of a Cold

  • Stay hydrated.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Combat stuffiness.
  • Relieve pain.
  • Sip warm liquids.
  • Add moisture to the air.
  • Try over-the-counter cold and cough medications.

What Are Seasonal Allergies?

Millions of Americans experience seasonal allergies at some time of year. We often hear this type of allergy referenced as “spring allergies” or “fall allergies,” but in reality, they could more aptly be described by the allergen causing them. Depending on the time of year you’re experiencing allergies, you may be allergic to birch pollen (spring), oak pollen (spring), grass pollen (summer) or ragweed (late spring through fall). The difference between allergies and a cold is that your symptoms will disappear when you aren’t exposed to the allergen.

Common Symptoms of Allergies

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Watery eyes
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