How to Tell If You Have Allergies or a Cold

girl blowing her nose


Since the symptoms of cold and allergies can be similar, it can be difficult determine whether you are sick or dealing with an allergic reaction.  For some tips on identifying the symptoms of a cold or an allergy, please read on!

Common Cold

The common cold is a virus that temporarily affects your body and it can be contracted when you come in contact with bacteria in the air, on surfaces you touch, or from someone coughing or sneezing on or near you. The most common symptoms of a cold are cough, sore throat, and a runny nose. If it is a severe cold, you might sometimes experience a high fever and aches in your body. A cold usually only lasts from a week to ten days and if it lasts longer, the cold might have turned into an infection.


Allergies are triggered when you have an adverse reaction to certain substances or foods. When you are exposed to the substances you are allergic to, your body releases histamines as a way to fight what your body perceives as an intruder. These histamines are what give you allergy symptoms such as sneezing, sore throat, itchy throat, coughing, or a stuffy nose. You might also notice a rash on your skin and experience itchy eyes.

Difference Between Common Cold and Allergies

One of the biggest differences between the symptoms of a common cold and allergies is if you are experiencing a fever. Allergies would not result in a high fever or an achy body. Also, the duration of the symptoms is a big factor in determining whether you’re suffering from a cold or allergies. The symptoms of an allergic reaction will not go away unless you treat it with medicine and removal of the trigger.


If you believe you are suffering from allergies, please schedule an appointment with one of our asthma and allergy specialists in Hunterdon County, NJ, by calling (908) 526-0200 or emailing us at