How To Tell If You Have The Common Cold or Seasonal Allergies

Published on 08/02/2020

We all know whats it’s like to experience some sort of seasonal allergies, unfortunately, some of us get them worse than others. Most of the time there’s nothing more we can do but complain until the worst is over. However, for those to do not know, allergy symptoms can often be very similar symptoms of a common cold. So how do we tell the difference? Firstly, an allergy is actually an immune response whereas a cold is a viral infection. Now even though some of the indications can easily overlap, there is a simple way to tell whether you have allergies or a cold. Take a look at this helpful guide.

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How To Tell If You Have The Common Cold or Seasonal Allergies

Nasal Passages

When you are trying to identify whether its a cold or allergies, one way to check to take a closer look at your nasal passages. If your nose is congested and possibly oozing yellow discharge this means you have a common cold. However, if you have allergies it is more likely that the congestion in your nose is more clearer. Over the counter, antihistamines or nasal sprays can easily resolve these symptoms.

Energy Level

Your energy levels are also a great indication when it comes to telling what your body is going through. When you’re dealing with allergy symptoms, you may feel tired but you definitely won’t bee feeling exhausted. Never the less, if you are experiencing a cold – you will definitely know about it. Cold drain all the energy out of you, simply because your immune system is working hard to fight off the bacteria. Additionally, a congested nose and constant cough can easily disrupt your sleep which in turn makes you so tired.


In addition to feeling exhausted when you’re experiencing a cold, your eyes will often water or sometimes people will experience dry and irritated eyes. Other symptoms may include red, puffy eyes, so these are easy symptoms to help you determine whether or not you have allergies or the common cold.  A classical sign of seasonal allergies is when your eyes are sensitive to light, swollen eyelids, and occasional itchy/ burning eyes as well. The best way to treat this to get over the counter eye drops during the spring and summer months- they definitely will help you a lot.


When you are experiencing seasonal allergies, they certainly do not cause body aches and pains. So if this is what you’re feeling you will know for sure that you have a cold. Not only do colds bring on aches and pains through your whole body but it’s also very possible for you to experience a fever. Make sure to take some painkillers to alienate the aches and pains and more importantly bring down the fever.


Another indication to help you decipher between a cold or allergies is the length of time that you experience the symptoms. When your have a cold your immune system attacks a cold with white blood cells which then makes antibodies to counterbalance it, this a process normally takes five to ten days. On the other hand, allergies can continue for as long as exposed to the cause, so this could take as long several days,  a few weeks or even until the season ends.