Have I a Cold or an Allergy?

(11 May 2016)

Symptoms of Allergies & Colds can be similar but here’s how to tell the difference:




Occurrence of Symptoms

Symptoms often appear 1 at a time: first sneezing, then a runny nose, then congestion

Symptoms occur all at once

Duration of Symptoms

Generally last from 7 to 10 days

Continue as long as a person is exposed to the allergy causing agent (allergen)


Often a yellowish nasal discharge, due to an infection

Generally a clear, thin, watery discharge


Less common than allergies

More common than with colds, especially when sneezing occurs 2 or 3 times in a row

Time of year

More common during the winter

More common in spring through to autumn, when plants are pollinating


May be accompanied by a fever

Not usually associated with a fever