How do colds and allergies differ? Is there any way to tell them apart? Yes, there is. Colds and allergies do share some of the same symptoms such as sneezing, runny and stuffy noses and some fatigue.
If it’s allergies, you typically develop symptoms around the same time every year; you experience itchy and watery eyes; and the color of your mucus is usually clear; but do not have a fever, a sore throat, or are achy.
If it’s a cold, you may have the achiness, usually a cough, and your mucus is yellow or greenish in color.
Colds are caused by viruses and allergies are caused by allergens. The best way to treat a cold is over the counter cold remedies such as decongestants and pain relievers. A cold can last 3 days to 2 weeks.
Allergies are best treated by avoiding the allergens, the use of over the counter or prescription antihistamines and decongestants. Seasonal allergies often last several weeks.