You’re not alone if a cough or tickle in the back of your throat makes you wonder what you’re dealing with. So, take our cold or allergies quiz!
It can be very challenging to tell the difference between allergies or a cold. This is because many of their symptoms are so similar. However, knowing the cause of your symptoms is key for getting the appropriate medical treatment as well as getting back to leading a healthy life.
We’ve broken down cold symptoms and allergy symptoms below. Take our quiz by answering the following questions before reading on to learn more.
Are you coughing a lot?
If so, you probably have a cold, as you’re more likely to see coughing in someone who has one. But it is important to note that both cold viruses and allergies share symptoms like a stuffy nose, a runny nose, sore throats and sneezing.
Scientists have identified more than 200 rhinoviruses. These are the germs that cause the common cold. In addition to the cold symptoms listed above, you may also be experiencing a headache, fatigue or a low-grade fever if you have a cold. Also, unlike allergies, cold symptoms tend to last all day until the virus goes away.
Do you have itchy eyes?
If so, you are probably suffering from allergies. People with colds don’t get itchy eyes like people who have allergies do. Sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose are all part of the allergy process. You may also experience wheezing.
Having a seasonal allergy is the most common type of allergy. So, if you’ve experienced these symptoms during a certain time of the year in the past, there’s a chance your symptoms are related to that. Fever, body aches and diarrhea are not common with allergies. So, if you have these symptoms, you are probably suffering from a different illness rather than allergies.
Do you have body aches and pains?
If so, you are probably not dealing with a cold or allergies. Instead, you are most likely suffering from a different viral infection, like the flu or COVID-19. Both colds and flu can cause coughing, a sore throat, headaches and fatigue. However, body aches and chills as well as higher fevers are associated with the flu or COVID-19 most of the time. Also, people with a cold or allergies also don’t usually have the same level of tiredness or body aches as people with the flu or COVID-19.
Symptoms of a flu infection can appear identical to COVID-19 symptoms. The most frequently reported symptoms of both include cough, fever and fatigue.
So, how can you tell if it’s the flu or COVID-19? Shortness of breath often separates COVID-19 from other upper respiratory infections, like the flu, as long as you don’t have a history of asthma. If you have difficulty breathing, it’s important to seek medical treatment right away!
Regardless of what illness or condition you are suffering from, it is important to tell your primary care provider about your symptoms.
They can help you figure out what your symptoms are related to and then create a treatment plan that is best for you. This treatment plan might include getting plenty of rest, utilizing over-the-counter pain relievers to help with a fever or undergoing allergy testing.
We hope our cold or allergies quiz helped you out!
Find a Mercy Health primary care provider near you today.