What is the difference between a cold & an allergy?


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As a general rule, colds will usually clear themselves up within a two-week period. Symptoms can be similar to those associated with hay fever, i.e. the runny nose, the sneezing, the watery eyes, but there are some important differences that will help you to determine whether or not you are suffering from a common cold or are a victim of hay fever and seasonal allergies. Colds often include a temperature, body aches and pains, loss of appetite and coughing. They generally lack the itchy feeling in the nose, eyes and face associated with hay fever. Colds also tend to occur at random times throughout the year. Hay fever, on the other hand, is very much seasonal and your allergy symptoms will coincide with whatever pollen is in the air. So, if you cannot decide if you have a cold or are suffering from hay fever, ask yourself a few simple questions. Do you have a temperature? Does your body ache? Are you tired or lethargic? If the answers are yes, then chances are you are suffering from a cold. If you have the itching eyes and nose, no fever, no loss of appetite, no body aches, no coughing and the symptoms last for the length of the hay fever season, then it is likely you are suffering from seasonal allergies. If you are in any doubt, go and see your GP.

Read more in the Allergies Information Guide »