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Be greater than your allergies

Be greater than your allergies

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN COLD, FLU, AND ALLERGY SYMPTOMS

Many of us struggle to figure out whether our symptoms stem from a cold, a flu virus, or if they could be seasonal allergies. With so many symptoms common to all 3, it can be a tricky question to answer. Knowing which symptoms are typical of each condition can be a helpful place to start. And of course, speaking with your doctor is the only way to get a confirmed diagnosis.

WHICH SYMPTOMS ARE TYPICAL OF EACH CONDITION?*

FEVER

or all-over body ache1,2

COLD

Rare

FLU

Common

ALLERGY

Not typical

DURATION

of symptoms1,2,3

COLD

2–14 days

FLU

Up to 1–2 weeks

ALLERGY

Often longer than 3 weeks

MUCUS1

COLD

Thick yellowy mucus

FLU

Thick yellowy mucus

ALLERGY

Clear thin mucus

SNEEZING1

COLD

Less prominent, with longer rest time 

between sneezes

FLU

Less prominent, with longer rest time between sneezes

 

ALLERGY

More prominent, with sneezes in rapid succession

ITCHY EYES1

COLD

Uncommon

FLU

Uncommon

 

ALLERGY

Common

*You should consult a physician to be sure which condition you have.

Sources:

1. Allergic Rhinitis. Family Doctor website. 1996. http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/allergic-rhinitis.html. Accessed October 17, 2018.

2. Cold, Flu or Allergy? NIH News in Health website. 2014. Available at: https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2014/10/cold-flu-or-allergy. Accessed October 17, 2018.

3. Common Cold. MedlinePlus website. 2014. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/commoncold.html. Accessed October 17, 2018.

4. Flu/Cold or Allergies? Asthma and Allergy Foundation for America website. 1995. http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=19&cont=481. Accessed October 17, 2018.

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