Is it allergies or a cold?

The weather is getting warmer. Spring is in bloom. The symptoms start: runny nose, congestion, sneezing, watery eyes and scratchy throat. So what do you have – nasal allergies or a cold?

If your symptoms last for more than two weeks, you may very well have nasal allergies. Here are some facts you should know:


Allergy symptoms may come all at once. However, you will not have the muscle aches or fever you may get with a cold or flu. If you have respiratory allergies, your symptoms may include:

  • Itchy, watery and sometimes red eyes
  • Runny nose, usually with a clear or thin discharge
  • Frequent sneezing
  • Congestion of the nose
  • Itchy ears or throat
  • Cough, though less often than with a cold


Cold symptoms usually appear one at a time, and can linger for up to two weeks. If you have a cold (viral upper respiratory infection), your symptoms may include:

  • Slight fever
  • Mild muscle aches and/or headache
  • Runny nose with a light yellow or thick discharge
  • Congestion of the nose and sinuses
  • Sneezing, though less often than with allergies
  • Sore throat
  • Cough