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A 36-year-old member asked:

how are a cold and allergies different?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Linda Green
Pediatric Allergy and Asthma 45 years experience
Cold or allergies: Cold and allergy symptoms can be similar. Allergies tend to be chronic or recurrent and generally involve sneezing, itchy eyes, clear runny nose and/or nasal congestion. Cold symptoms usually involve less sneezing and itching and more congestion often with thicker or discolored mucous.

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A 39-year-old member asked:

What distinguishes a cold from allergies?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Chiu
Dr. John Chiu answered
Allergy and Immunology 57 years experience
Good question: Some time it is hard to tell. In general, when you have a cold, someone else in the family or office often has one. A cold is often associated with a low-grade fever but allergy is not. You may also notice fatigue as well as joint or muscle ache with a cold but not with allergy. Hay fever may respond to antihistamine but a cold does not.
A 42-year-old member asked:

Do you have any suggestions for cold/allergies?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Cold tips: Sore throat – gargle with warm salt water (1/2 tsp salt in 8 oz of water). Get strep test/culture if very sore. Congestion – saline nose drops or netti pot. For anti-inflammatory effect & mobilizing mucus- homemade chicken noodle soup. Hydrate- lots of water/clear broth/ add honey & a small amt. of lemon juice to Chamomile tea. Fever/ pain – Acetaminophen / NSAID’s Rest!! Allergies - avoidance.
Canada
A 23-year-old female asked:

How can you tell the difference between a cold and allergies?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Chiu
Dr. John Chiu answered
Allergy and Immunology 57 years experience
Sometimes difficult: but except in very severe cases of allergy, people don't lose appetite with allergy which is also not associated with a fever. Allergy may also be seasonal. Cold is more common when school starts and in the winter, allergy in the warmer months. Cold is not relieved by antihistamine which does reduce allergic symptoms. Hope these points are helpful.
A 49-year-old member asked:

What are the symptoms of cold/allergies? Can you get these and not feel sick?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Justin Greiwe
Allergy and Immunology 12 years experience
Cold vs. Allergies: A cold is caused by a virus and is transient. Allergic rhinitis presents with a variety of symptoms including congestion, running, itching (eyes and nose), and post-nasal drip that can be seasonal or year round. Triggers can be allergic (animal dander, pollen, dust mites) or non-allergic (strong scents/odors, cleaning products, weather changes). See an allergist for further workup and skin testing
A 33-year-old member asked:

What are the differences between a cold and allergies?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Zacharisen
Allergy and Immunology 33 years experience
Big differences: Colds are due to viruses and are contagious but limited to less than a week. Allergies typically have itching (nose, eye) and sneezing as common symptoms. Symptoms can continue through a pollen season or for months or years (if indoor allergies). Allergies response well to treatment with medications and allergy injections. An allergist can assist in identifying if there is an allergy.

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Last updated Feb 21, 2019

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