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Allergies Versus a Cold: How to Tell the Difference

You have a cold. Again. And you thought you’d done so well, taking care of your immune system.

But if you’re coughing, sneezing, and feeling fatigued for what seems like months, a virus may not be your problem. It might be an allergy. 

At the Low Testosterone & Weight Loss Center, in Allen, Texas, our expert team offers allergy tests and treatments. Plus, if you do have a cold, we help you manage that, too.

Not sure if it’s an allergy or a cold, or how to tell? Answer these questions to find out.

Are your eyes itchy or watery?

Colds rarely affect your eyes. If your eyes are red, itchy, or watery, you probably have an allergy.

Do you feel achy or have a fever?

Allergies don’t cause aches and pain, so if your body hurts, you probably have a cold. Ditto for a fever: Allergies don’t cause fevers. 

However, if you don’t have aches or a fever, it could be either condition.

What’s the weather like?

The warm weather of spring and summer bring out flowering plants and trees that disperse allergenic pollen throughout the air. If you start sneezing or coughing when you’re outside, you could have an allergy.

Conversely, if your symptoms start during fall and winter’s chill, you may have a cold. Allergies that happen during these months are usually non-seasonal, such as an allergy to a pet, substance, or food.

How runny is your nose?

Thin mucus could be the sign of an allergy. But if you’re mucus is thick, and your nose is congested, you probably have a cold.

Did your symptoms flare-up suddenly?

If you have allergies, you generally have an attack during or shortly after exposure to the allergen. So if you pet a cat and start sneezing, think of an allergy.

Cold symptoms usually take a few days to build up and then hit you full force. You may have first noticed a little tickling in the back of your throat. Then you blew your nose a few times. Now you’re in misery. This is probably a cold.  Don’t worry, it should resolve in a week or two.

Do your symptoms occur at the same time every year?

If you have symptoms such as a runny nose, coughing, or sneezing every year at the same time, you probably have an allergy. Colds are more mercurial and arise when you’re exposed to someone else who passes you the virus.

But if you’re allergic to pollen, you’re likely to develop symptoms each spring. And if you’re allergic to pet dander or dust mites, your symptoms may flare-up in the colder months, when the air inside your house doesn’t circulate as much.

Got your answer? Now seek solutions

If you suspect that allergies are the cause of your symptoms, allergy testing identifies which substances, plants, or food you can’t tolerate. We do both blood tests and skin-prick tests, depending on your case. Once we know what you’re allergic to, we help you devise a strategy to avoid the allergens and manage symptoms when you’re exposed to them. 

Find out what foods, pets, or plants are making sneeze, wheeze, and cough by scheduling an allergy test today. Call us at 469-912-2113 or use our online booking form.

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