3 Signs Your Lingering Cold is Actually Just Allergies | Paper Pinecone

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3 Signs Your Lingering Cold is Actually Just Allergies

Published Date: 05/23/19

All over the country, allergy sufferers are dealing with the uncomfortable consequences of everything in spring bloom. Or wait. Is it allergies or a cold that you are experiencing? Because the symptoms of each affliction are so similar in nature, it can often be difficult to figure out what is the root of your problem. Here are three signs that your cold is really allergies:

Eye Irritation

While many symptoms of the common cold and allergies mimic each other, eye irritation is usually exclusive to allergies. Both issues present with a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, and sore throat. However, eye irritation is not generally a symptom of the common cold. If your eyes are red or watery, it is more likely that seasonal allergies are the culprit behind your misery. The presence of eczema is another indicator that allergies may be what is getting you down.


One of the telltale ways to discern if you have a cold or allergies is the duration of the symptoms. While cold symptoms generally last about seven to ten days, allergy symptoms may last up to several weeks. Ragweed allergies, for example, can last for up to six weeks, which incidentally is about how long ragweed season is. Allergy symptoms such as reaction to pollen also tend to fluctuate in severity over the time period depending on the day, while cold symptoms remain more consistent. If you tend to get sick at the same time each year, it is also more likely that what you thought was a cold in the past was really allergies.

Clear and Watery Mucus

While it may not be the most pleasant thing to examine closely, looking at your mucus may yield helpful clues as to what is ailing you. Mucus that is clear or watery is likely the result of allergies. The mucus in cold sufferers tends to be thicker in consistency or colored in nature. Colored or thick mucus indicates the presence of infection, which is not the case if you are dealing with allergies only. Allergies may be unpleasant, but they are not caused by an infection invading your body. While it may be challenging to discern the true cause of your symptoms, knowing what is causing your discomfort will help you to know how to best treat the issue.

By following these three guidelines, you should be able to pinpoint the cause of your symptoms and treat them accordingly.

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