Spring is in bloom, which usually means warmer temperatures, green grass, fresh flowers, and
fun outdoors. Unfortunately for some of us, it also means allergens are in the air and sickness is
on the way. Winter cold medicine takes a back shelf to spring antihistamines in the medicine
cabinet. If you are one of the 50 million people affected by nasal allergies in the U.S., you may
have a hard time determining if you’re dealing with a cold or seasonal allergies. Here are a few
tips to help you tell the difference:
You could have these common symptoms with either a cold or seasonal allergies:
- Fatigue or weakness
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
The big difference is how you contract the two illnesses. Colds are caused by more than 100
types of viruses, and you can catch them any time of the year. They usually come on quickly but
tend to last only about three to 10 days. Look for these additional symptoms with a cold:
- Body aches and pains
- Sore throat
- Fever (this is a rare symptom)
If the common symptoms tend to plague you only during certain times of the year, and then
last longer than a couple of weeks, then you’re more likely to be fighting seasonal allergies,
according to Dr. James M. Steckelberg. With seasonal allergies, fever and body aches are almost
never present, but the following symptoms usually are:
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
- Itchy throat
- Sore throat (this symptom is rare and happens if you have postnasal drip)
Want an even easier way to find out whether you’re battling a cold or allergies? Just call
Teladoc for help with diagnosis and treatment. Depending on the symptoms, natural remedies
such as drinking lots of water or non‐caffeinated herbal tea, gargling with salt water, and
plugging in your humidifier can be used to treat your cold. If you’ve been diagnosed with
seasonal allergies, our U.S. board‐certified doctors can recommend antihistamines and
decongestants, or prescribe allergy shots if necessary.
Whether it’s a cold or allergies, Teladoc can help you start feeling better soon.
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