Is it Allergies or a Cold?

When you wake up with those all too familiar feelings of a cold, it’s inconvenient, to say the least. It’s hard to feel like yourself when you’re battling a slew of uncomfortable symptoms, but is it really even a cold? Colds and allergies have a lot in common, and it can be hard to decipher what the root of your symptoms really is. Let’s break it down so you can determine what the best course of treatment is for your symptoms!

AFC Urgent Care Hillsdale provides both allergy and cold or flu treatment for all patients. We want you to feel your best, so we provide the best care with short wait times. 

Allergy Symptoms

Allergies are extremely common and most commonly flair up in the spring and fall when pollen counts are higher. You can have allergy symptoms any time of the year, however. Allergy symptoms typically include:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffed nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing

Not every allergy sufferer will display all of those symptoms, and they can range in severity. Allergies can be diagnosed using skin testing to determine what specific things are causing your symptoms, but you can also focus on symptom management during your peak allergy seasons without undergoing allergy testing.

Cold Symptoms 

The common cold is a type of virus that’s contagious, so it can be spread from one person to another. Colds are most commonly spread through either spit or mucus that comes out when you’re talking, coughing, or sneezing. It can be spread through direct contact with an infected person or contact with a surface that has some of those cold-infected particles on it. If someone wipes their nose with their hand and then touches a doorknob and you follow behind, touching the same doorknob, then rubbing your face, you will probably end up with a cold.

Cold symptoms include:

  • General fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sore throat

Cold symptoms typically last from 3 to 10 days. They are generally not severe and won’t require any special care, but having a cold can be inconvenient for your day-to-day life. If you have any of these more severe symptoms and have a fever, visit AFC Hillsdale for a flu test. 

Prevention and Symptom Management

Preventing allergy and cold symptoms is easy if you make it part of your daily routine. Cold prevention includes practicing good hand hygiene, avoiding sick people, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to strengthen your immune system.

You can prevent allergies by learning what your allergy triggers are and then avoiding those things as much as possible. Household changes, like dust mite covers and new furnace filters, can minimize allergy symptoms from household allergens.

If you develop cold or allergy symptoms, over-the-counter medications are typically the first line of defense to manage the symptoms. If symptoms continue to persist and don’t improve with treatments, visiting AFC Urgent Care Hillsdale for same-day care is the option for quick relief! Rather you’re battling allergies or a cold, remember to drink plenty of water and rest as much as you can.


3700 Cahaba Beach Road Birmingham, AL 35242

Our Mission and Values:

Our mission is to provide the best healthcare possible in a kind and caring environment, in an economical manner, while respecting the rights of all of our patients, at times and locations convenient to the patient.

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