Do I Have a Cold or Allergies?

Fotolia_102329790_XS.jpgNow that the seasons are finally thinking about changing - although, here in Georgia we may have highs in the 70's through Christmas - we're already seeing several instances of everyone's favorite game of self-diagnosis: Is It a Cold or Allergies? The symptoms can be very similar, but the root causes are very different. Knowing the difference in the two can help you to get the right treatment and feel better sooner. Let's take a look...

Allergy Symptoms

Allergies are specific to your situation and environment. Your body may have an allergic reaction to things that occur seasonally (ie. a type of plant in bloom) or are specific to a certain place or environment (ie. the home of a friend or relative who owns a cat). Here's what to look for with allergies:

  • Clear or Watery Mucus
  • Itchy, Watery Eyes
  • Symptoms that only arise in certain situations
  • Symptoms that stay the same
  • Symptoms that last over a week

If you regularly suffer from seasonal or environmental allergies, it's important to get tested. At Ashford Clinic, we offer painless, in-office Allergy Testing and effective Allergy Drops for treatment.

Cold Symptoms

A cold is caused by one of 200+ viruses, and these viruses can cause different symptoms. While there is some crossover between cold and allergy symptoms, here are some tell tale signs that you're dealing with a cold:

  • Cough, Low Fever, Body Aches, or Headache
  • Symptoms that change every few days
  • Yellow, Green, or Thick Mucus

If your symptoms get worse over time, don't clear up after 10 days, or if you have a fever over 101 degrees, you need to see a doctor. Symptoms that linger or become severe can be a sign of conditions like Strep or Pneumonia, so it's important to take these sypmtoms seriously and see a doctor.