Is it a common cold or your allergies? How to know the difference

Common cold or allergies?

Is it a common cold or your allergies? How to know the difference

With the winter months now in full swing, many of us will end up enduring a common cold, cough, or chest infection. But don’t make this one mistake. Symptoms for the common cold can be all too similar to allergies. If you’re still experiencing your symptoms well into the new year, it’s time to ask yourself: what’s really making you ill?


If your winter cold isn’t going away, especially after a week, your symptoms might point to allergies. Allergic rhinitis and the common cold (and other upper respiratory issues) both have similar symptoms. Symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, and fatigue are typical traits of both, but if you are also experiencing hives or itchy eyes, it might be time to consider another cause.

Another sign that your infection is actually allergic rhinitis is that cold side effects develop slower in contrast to allergies. However, symptoms like sore throats, fever, and aches may indicate that your cold has developed into a further infection. If this is the case, it’s best to talk to your GP. The above signs might also point to non-allergic rhinitis.


Exposure to triggers such as pollen, food, or dust usually cause your body to react almost immediately. If you find yourself suffering from cold-like symptoms, you might have something else to point the finger at.

During the winter allergies can go wild. With Christmas trees, family gatherings, and plenty of food, it’s likely that you’ll come into contact with your fair share of allergens. So if you already know your triggers, be on the lookout.

Both colds and allergies affect the immune system, so it’s easy to see why you might confuse the conditions. While you may, in fact, be suffering from a bothersome but ultimately harmless cold, we highly recommend being tested for allergies. It’s better to be safe than sorry if one day the worst comes to pass. Don’t just stay warm this winter: stay healthy.

If you have been suffering from a ‘cold’ for more than a week, it could be a sign of allergic rhinitis. Find out once and for all why you feel unwell with the help of an allergy test and begin the new year allergy-free. Request an allergy test from us or visit our website.

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