Do I Have Allergies Or Another Illness?

April 15, 2023

Are you having a stuffy nose, itchy throat, or cough frequently throughout the year? Is it a common cold or a seasonal allergy? With similar symptoms and year-round occurrence, it is tough to differentiate between them.

According to recent stats, almost 1 billion people suffer from colds yearly, while approximately 30% of adults and 40% of children are prone to allergies. So how would you know if your sniffling is a result of flu or allergies?

Seasonal Allergies vs. Illnesses: Understanding the Difference

Here, we will discuss three core symptoms that can help you understand the difference between illness and allergies. It will also help you effectively manage your symptoms and improve your overall health through proper management and prevention strategies.

       1. Allergies follow a pattern and tend to linger longer

Allergies occur at certain times of the year and can last up to weeks. In most cases, you may need to take prescribed antihistamines. On the other hand, cold viruses are present all year round but are more prevalent in winter.

       2. Only common colds and flu causes fever

People often think that allergies can cause fever, which isn’t true. If you get a fever during an allergy bout, your body has developed an infection, such as a sinus infection, that traps the mucus and allows bacteria to grow.

      3. Allergies rarely cause body aches

You may suffer from fatigue and low energy levels due to seasonal allergies. The only pain that an allergy causes are a headache. Sore throat and body aches are a sign of a common cold.

When to Know It’s Cold Or Allergy?

Numerous factors lead to the development of cold or seasonal allergies that we’ve discussed in this section

Common Causes of Cold and Flu:

  • Cold and flu are contagious. You are more likely to catch a cold and flu when you come in contact with a positive patient.
  • Winter and fall are the most prevalent times of the year when you suffer from respiratory illnesses
  • Low immunity levels put you more at risk of developing a cold as your body fails to fight against bacteria and viruses

Common Causes of Seasonal Allergies:

  • You develop allergies when exposed to triggers such as pollens, pet dander, and mold, or environmental irritants including dust, smoke, and pollution
  • Allergies are genetic. So, if you’ve got a family history of respiratory issues such as asthma, you’re more prone to seasonal allergies
  • Spring, windy, and rainy seasons put you at risk of developing allergies as you’re more exposed to triggers.


It can be challenging to distinguish between seasonal allergies and common colds due to similar symptoms. However, proper diagnosis is mandatory for effective treatment and preventive management tips. To learn more about your symptoms, visit a local urgent care center or book an appointment now.

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