14 doctors weighed in:

How can I tell if my baby has cold or if it is allergies?

14 doctors weighed in
7 doctors agree

In brief: A "cold"...

... Is a viral infection.
Allergic noses drip and itch, viral noses have a more "gooey" mucus. Cough and fever are more likely with a viral infection; tearing eyes are more likely with an allergy.

In brief: A "cold"...

... Is a viral infection.
Allergic noses drip and itch, viral noses have a more "gooey" mucus. Cough and fever are more likely with a viral infection; tearing eyes are more likely with an allergy.
Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky
Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky
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Dr. Douglas Tzanetos
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
3 doctors agree

In brief: Length of symptoms

This can be difficult to tell.
Allergies can resemble colds. However, some clues are length of symptoms (cold typically last 7 to 14 days). Whether symptoms correlate with allergen exposure is another clue. Also, allergies do not cause fevers. Unfortunately the color of mucus discharge is not a reliable predictor. Skin or blood allergy testing can be helpful to make this determination.

In brief: Length of symptoms

This can be difficult to tell.
Allergies can resemble colds. However, some clues are length of symptoms (cold typically last 7 to 14 days). Whether symptoms correlate with allergen exposure is another clue. Also, allergies do not cause fevers. Unfortunately the color of mucus discharge is not a reliable predictor. Skin or blood allergy testing can be helpful to make this determination.
Dr. Douglas Tzanetos
Dr. Douglas Tzanetos
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Dr. Andrew Murphy
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Difficult

A lot of the symptoms of colds and allergies overlap however fever and other being sick help to distinguish the two.
In addition colds last for a week to ten days whereas allergy would be more persistent

In brief: Difficult

A lot of the symptoms of colds and allergies overlap however fever and other being sick help to distinguish the two.
In addition colds last for a week to ten days whereas allergy would be more persistent
Dr. Andrew Murphy
Dr. Andrew Murphy
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Dr. Boyan Hadjiev
Internal Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Fever or No fever

Nasal and ocular allergies feel just like a cold--stuffy, runny noses, scratchy or itchy throats, sneezing, itchy eyes, but usually no fever, and little fatigue (some people say they feel "foggy" and tired, but not fatigued).
Viral infections, aka "colds" are usually accompanied by fever or increased temperature, sweating, congestion, runny nose, sore throats, etc.

In brief: Fever or No fever

Nasal and ocular allergies feel just like a cold--stuffy, runny noses, scratchy or itchy throats, sneezing, itchy eyes, but usually no fever, and little fatigue (some people say they feel "foggy" and tired, but not fatigued).
Viral infections, aka "colds" are usually accompanied by fever or increased temperature, sweating, congestion, runny nose, sore throats, etc.
Dr. Boyan Hadjiev
Dr. Boyan Hadjiev
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Dr. Arthur Torre
Pediatrics - Allergy & Asthma
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Fever or aches

Both colds and allergies can give you a runny/stuffy nose and coughing, but if there are aches or a fever it's a cold (though not all colds will cause fever and aches).
Colds tend to last less than 7 to 10 days, allergies can last weeks to months - or if it's an acute exposure to something your allergic to, it may only last minutes.

In brief: Fever or aches

Both colds and allergies can give you a runny/stuffy nose and coughing, but if there are aches or a fever it's a cold (though not all colds will cause fever and aches).
Colds tend to last less than 7 to 10 days, allergies can last weeks to months - or if it's an acute exposure to something your allergic to, it may only last minutes.
Dr. Arthur Torre
Dr. Arthur Torre
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Dr. John Chiu
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology

In brief: Good question

Some time it is hard to tell.
In general, when your child has a cold, someone else in the family 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.

In brief: Good question

Some time it is hard to tell.
In general, when your child has a cold, someone else in the family 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.
Dr. John Chiu
Dr. John Chiu
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