KNOW YOUR ENEMY: COLD, FLU OR ALLERGIES?

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 three, it can be tricky to know cold symptoms vs. flu symptoms vs. allergy symptoms. Knowing which are allergy symptoms and which are symptoms of other conditions can be helpful.

Reference the chart below to potentially help get an idea of where your symptoms fall. And of course, speaking with your doctor is the only way confirm whether you have cold symptoms, flu symptoms or just seasonal allergy symptoms.  

WHICH SYMPTOMS ARE TYPICAL OF EACH CONDITION?*

FEVER

or all-over body ache

COLD

Rare

FLU

Common

ALLERGY

Not typical

DURATION

of symptoms

COLD

2–14 days

FLU

1–2 weeks

ALLERGY

Often longer than 3 weeks

MUCUS

COLD

Thick yellowy mucus

FLU

Thick yellowy mucus

ALLERGY

Clear initially (may turn yellow) thin mucus

SNEEZING

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 EYES

COLD

Uncommon

FLU

Uncommon

 

ALLERGY

Common

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