Allergy checker: allergy or just a cold?

Can you tell the difference between allergy and a common cold?

Deze tekst is gereviewd door de medische afdeling van Viatris.

Allergy symptoms are sometimes mistaken for a prolonged cold because the symptoms are similar. However, common allergies and the common cold differ in several important ways.1 This chart shows you how to tell the difference between an allergy and a common cold.

How to tell the difference between allergy and the common cold

Allergy

Cold

Symptoms

Nose and throat

  • Blocked nose
  • Runny nose (but the ‘snot’ is usually green, thick and sticky)
  • Sporadic sneezing
  • Sore throat.

Eyes

  • Eyes are not usually affected

Other

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Aches and pains
  • Cough

Body temperature

  • Usually no fever.
  • A light fever may occur.

Duration

  • May last for weeks (hay fever) and usually appears at the same time each year (in response to pollen)
  • May be present all year round (pet allergy, dust mite allergy, mould allergy)
  • Often passes on its own within a week or so.

Treatment

Symptoms are alleviated by

  • Paracetamol (for headache and fever reduction)
  • Decongestants (for blocked nose)
  • Hydration (drink lots of fluids)
  • Rest
  • Salt water gargle or throat lozenges (for sore throat)

Why not also try the 10-second symptom checker to see how doctors assess allergy symptoms?

ALLERGIE SYMPTOMEN

Last van rode ogen? Niesbuien? Verstopte neus? Ben je benieuwd of jouw klachten bij een allergie horen?

LEES VERDER

SYMPTOMEN ALLERGIE BEHANDELEN?

Tabletten, een neusspray of oogdruppels? Er zijn heel veel verschillende anti-allergiemiddelen in de drogisterij verkrijgbaar om jouw allergieklachten te verlichten. Kom er achter welke bij jou past.

LEES VERDER

  • References

    1. Bousquet J, Khaltaev N, Cruz AA, et al. Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) 2008 update (in collaboration with the World Health Organization, GA(2)LEN and AllerGen). Allergy. 2008;63 Suppl 86:8-160. doi:10.1111/j.1398-9995.2007.01620.x.