Cold or Allergies? Common Symptoms of Each and How to Tell the Difference

itchy eyesSpring has sprung, and seasonal allergies have come with it. But there's also the occasional spring cold thrown into the mix, and telling the difference between that and your allergies can be a challenge.

Here are a few common symptoms of each issue that might help you identify what the reason for your spring urgent care clinic visit is.

Spring Colds
There's nothing fun about a cold during the warmer months of spring and summer, that's for sure. The good news? Your cold won't last as long as your allergies will. The bad news? It might make you feel worse than any seasonal allergies you suffer from. Here are some common symptoms to look out for if you suspect you have a cold:
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue and Weakness
  • Frequent Sneezing
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Sore Throat
  • Aches and Pains
Fever
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's a sign of minor illnesses like the common cold. It's also a sign that you should probably visit your family medicine provider for some congestion medication.

Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies can be a real pain, and on top of that they can last for weeks on end. These allergies are usually a result of pollen, dust, and multiple other outdoor factors that get magnified during the spring and fall. Here are some common symptoms to look out for:
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy Eyes
  • Frequent Sneezing
  • Runny Nose
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Watery Eyes
  • Sore Throat
If your symptoms line up more with these, you're likely suffering from seasonal allergies. Not sure what you're allergic to? This is also a great opportunity to get tested and find out exactly what's causing your itchy eyes.

What do they have in common?
As you can see from the above lists, colds and seasonal allergies have a few symptoms in common. These are namely in the nasal regions, so nasal decongestants are a good option for both issues. The other thing they have in common? Neither are curable yet. So while you might be able to relieve the pain of sore throats, it's ultimately a waiting game.

Above all else, don't forget to take care of yourself during these allergen-ridden months. And if you suspect you're suffering from something more serious than a common cold, don't hesitate to visit an urgent care center. There are almost 9,300 walk-in, stand-alone urgent care centers in the U.S., so make sure you know where the nearest one is to you.