How to tell if you have frequent cold or seasonal allergies

We all know what it’s like to experience some sort of seasonal allergy, unfortunately, some of us make them worse than others. Most of the time there is nothing we can do but complain until the worst is over. However, for those who don’t know, allergy symptoms can often be very similar symptoms of a common cold. So how do you tell the difference? First, an allergy is actually an immune response while a cold is a viral infection. Now, although some of the indications can easily overlap, there is an easy way to tell if you have allergies or a cold. Take a look at this helpful guide.

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How to tell if you have frequent cold or seasonal allergies

Nasal passages

When trying to identify if it’s a cold or allergies, one way to check is to take a closer look at your nasal passages. If your nose is congested and possibly oozing a yellow discharge, it means you have a cold. However, if you have allergies, the congestion in your nose is more likely to be 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 have allergy symptoms, you may feel tired, but you definitely won’t feel exhausted. Nonetheless, if you are suffering from a cold, you will certainly know it. The cold drains all the energy from you, simply because your immune system is working hard to fight bacteria. Plus, a stuffy nose and constant coughing can easily disturb your sleep, making you feel so tired.


Besides feeling exhausted when you have a cold, your eyes will often cry or sometimes people will have dry, itchy eyes. Other symptoms can include red and swollen eyes, so these are easy symptoms to help you determine if you have allergies or a cold. A classic sign of seasonal allergies is when your eyes are sensitive to light, swollen eyelids, and sometimes itchy / burning eyes. The best way to deal with this is to get over the counter eye drops during the spring and summer months – they will definitely help you a lot.


When you have seasonal allergies, they certainly don’t cause aches and pains. So if this is how you are feeling, you will know for sure that you have a cold. Not only does the common cold cause aches and pains throughout your body, but it is also very possible that you have a fever. Be sure to take pain relievers to alienate muscle aches and especially to lower fever.


Another clue to help you decipher between a cold or allergies is how long you have symptoms. When you have a cold your immune system attacks a cold with white blood cells which then produce antibodies to counteract it, this process normally takes five to ten days. On the other hand, allergies can last as long as they are exposed to the cause, which can take several days, weeks or even until the end of the season.