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Cold vs. Allergies – What’s the difference?

It’s pollen season! With all that green dust going up the nose, it can be hard to tell the difference between the common cold and hay fever.

Check out these tips on how to tell the difference between the two and remember America’s ER – Magnolia & Woodlands is here 24/7/365 for all those sniffles. Walk-ins welcome, located off FM 2978 and Research Forest Dr., next to Target in Magnolia!

1) Time of the year.
Colds tend to occur in cooler weather and can take several days to show up after a virus enters the body. But the symptoms from seasonal allergies occur immediately after exposure to pollens in the spring, summer or fall. So, if symptoms occur around the same time every year, it points towards seasonal allergies.

2) Duration of symptoms.
A cold can last anywhere from 3 to 14 days but all that green pollen will keep symptoms lasting longer, usually for weeks, until the exposure to pollen has significantly decreased.

3) Color of nasal discharge.
When green or yellow colored discharge is blown from the nose, it tends to lean more in the direction of a cold or infection. Seasonal allergies usually result in clear nasal secretions. But, allergies can develop into a sinus infection, which would result in yellow-colored nasal discharge.

4) Temperature & muscle aches.
Despite the name “hay fever,” seasonal allergies don’t usually cause fever or body aches, whereas people with a cold often have these symptoms.