Many seasonal allergies bring about a number of runny noses, sore throats and itchy eyes, and sometimes these can be misconstrued as a cold or flu. There are some cold and allergy symptom differences but not all of them are noticeable enough to tell apart by feel alone. Many of them differ mostly in length.
Often it will also depend on the time of year, and the type of allergy symptom that is present as to whether or not you can tell it apart from a cold symptom. During the Fall and Winter dust and mold can cause coughing and headaches, but these are easier to distinguish from cold symptoms than hay fever or ragweed allergies in the Spring and Summer.
How Colds And Allergies Work:
Cold and allergy symptom differences may not always be easy to spot but there is a definite difference between what they are and what they do to your body. Colds are usually caused by little viruses, each one different than the last, and when they enter your body your immune system attacks them. Some of these can cause nasal congestion and coughing, and these can be highly contagious. Cold germs can be spread by sneezing on somebody, shaking hands that have touched bodily fluids, or drinking from somebody else's cup.
Allergies, on the other hand, are caused by your immune system reacting to dust, pollen, and other tiny molecules that enter your body. When your immune system mistakes them for germs it attacks them and this can cause similar symptoms to a cold. Swelling of your nasal passages, an overproduction of mucus, and coughing can all ensue. These aren't contagious, although some allergies are genetic and can be passed down from parent to child.
Characteristics That Differentiate The Two:
Some characteristics can increase your chances of distinguishing cold and allergy symptom differences. You'll find that the duration of an allergy symptom is a long one. While a cold lasts anywhere from three days to two weeks, allergies can last for months or as long as you are exposed to whatever is causing a reaction. The time of year also plays a part, as many colds occur during the winter, but can take place at any time of year. Many allergies are seasonal and you might find yourself only experiencing symptoms in the spring, but not so much during the Fall and Winter when plants begin hibernating. The onset of the symptoms may also typically different as cold symptoms may take a few days to occur, or may slowly move in and get worse. Allergy symptoms often appear immediately during interaction with an allergen.
Treatment For Allergies Symptoms:
Cold and allergy symptom differences may be similar, but treatment is different, because there is no cure for the common cold, but there are ways to stop an allergy in its tracks. By removing the allergen, or making yourself immune to the allergen through specialized treatment there are ways to be rid of allergy symptoms. Cold symptoms can be masked, but not completely removed until the virus has run its course and your body is better.