Springtime Cold or Allergies? How To Tell The Difference

March 18, 2024

The flowers are beginning to bloom, the days are getting longer, and the weather is warming up. The spring season is officially here, and many of us are looking forward to spending more time outside. However, for some, the arrival of spring also brings with it the dreaded symptoms of sneezing, congestion, and itchy eyes. But are these symptoms due to a springtime cold or seasonal allergies? Distinguishing between the two can be challenging, but understanding the key differences can help you manage your symptoms more effectively. In this blog, we’ll explore the distinct characteristics of colds and allergies and offer tips on how to tell them apart.

For same-day seasonal care, visit the walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care South Plainfield. Our board-certified medical providers are here to help diagnose and treat your condition seven days a week. Just walk-in today!

Identifying a Spring Cold

A springtime cold is a viral upper respiratory infection caused by a virus. While colds can occur at any time of the year, they can be common during seasonal transitions in the spring. A cold typically develops gradually, with symptoms worsening over the course of a few days. It’s common to experience a low-grade fever with a cold, especially during the first few days of the illness. Muscle and body aches, along with fatigue, are also common symptoms of a cold. Most colds resolve within 7 to 10 days, although some symptoms like coughing and congestion may linger for over a week.

Understanding Spring Allergies

Spring allergies are triggered by exposure to allergens such as pollen, mold spores, dust mites, or pet dander. These allergens can cause inflammation in the nasal passages and trigger a range of symptoms. Allergies often come on suddenly after exposure to allergens, such as spending time outdoors on a high pollen day. Unlike colds, allergies typically do not cause a fever. Furthermore, itching is a hallmark sign of allergies, particularly in the eyes, throat, and roof of the mouth. Allergy symptoms tend to occur at the same time each year when specific allergens are in abundance, such as the spring pollen season. They may persist for weeks or months as long as you are exposed to the allergen that triggers them.

How To Tell The Difference 

Differentiating between a springtime cold and allergies can be challenging, especially since symptoms overlap. However, there are a few key clues that can help you determine the cause of your symptoms:

  1. Duration: Colds typically last 7-10 days, while allergy symptoms may persist for weeks or months if you continue to be exposed to allergens.
  2. Fever: If you have a fever, it’s more likely to be a sign of a cold or other viral infection rather than allergies.
  3. Timing: Pay attention to when your symptoms occur. If they tend to flare up during certain times of the year, such as the spring or fall, allergies are more likely to be the underlying cause.
  4. Associated Symptoms: Allergies are more likely to cause itching in the eyes and throat, while colds may cause more generalized symptoms such as body aches and fatigue.

If you are still unsure whether your symptoms are due to a cold or allergies, consider consulting a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis. Your provider can help determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment options to help you feel better. 

Get Walk-In Seasonal Care at AFC Urgent Care South Plainfield 

While colds and allergies cause some similar symptoms, it’s important to be able to distinguish between the two. By understanding the symptoms and characteristics of each condition and seeking medical guidance when necessary, you can take proactive steps to manage your health and feel your best during the spring season! Need symptom relief? Come visit us at AFC Urgent Care South Plainfield! Our walk-in clinic is open seven days a week to serve your urgent care needs and treat your illness symptoms. If you have any additional questions about the services we provide, please contact us directly at (908) 222-3500.

Blog Categories

Recent Blogs

About Our Services:

Call (908) 222-3500 for more information about our South Plainfield urgent care services.